Red Cross chief's appetite for charity

STARVING families in Africa welcome consignments of food parcels with open arms.Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the charity and his family, however, were only too glad to see the back of them after a week-long fundraising challenge surviving on Red Cross Rations alone.

STARVING families in Africa welcome consignments of food parcels with open arms.

Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the charity and his family, however, were only too glad to see the back of them after a week-long fundraising challenge surviving on Red Cross Rations alone.

For seven days the Youngs, who have a home near Ipswich, in Suffolk, lived on rations of flour, pasta, white beans, yeast, oil, sugar and salt - the staple ingredients distributed by the organisation during a food crisis.

Everyday items such as meat, cheese and fish were off the menu. They were allowed to add water and spices, one piece of fruit and one portion of vegetables.


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Mr Young said he had found the exercise quite challenging and by the end of the week was craving chocolate and cakes.

He added: "It was interesting and we enjoyed trying to create something tasty out of unpromising materials but it became increasingly difficult as the week went on.

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"Living with a diet that was so lacking in variety and so short on fresh food was quite a struggle. It certainly made us appreciate how very lucky we are in this country."

The challenge, which was also taken up by four other families, aimed to show solidarity with the millions of people facing severe hunger in Africa and to raise money for the British Red Cross Food Crisis in Africa Appeal.

The appeal focuses on Ethiopia and Eritrea and five countries in southern Africa – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho – where a total of 26 million people are facing severe food shortages.

The Red Cross appeal aims to send food, seeds, tools and farming equipment to vulnerable communities, especially those blighted by HIV.

Donations can be made to the British Red Cross Food Crisis in Africa Appeal on (0845) 3077703 or at www.redcross.org.uk or write to British Red Cross Food Crisis in Africa Appeal at FREEPOST, London, SW1X 7BR.

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