CITY businesses are being encouraged to give up their usual shop-bought lunches to give money to starving people in East Africa.
Aid agency World Vision is calling on companies to swap dinner time treats for a lunch of bread and soup. Monies raised could then go towards the charity’s aid effort in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
World Vision is holding their own event at their offices in Fox Milne between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
The basic lunch has around 200 calories in it which, although less than many sandwiches and salads you can buy, is still much more than what’s on offer in East Africa. In parts of the region families can miss meals for several days at a time.
Ian Turvey, who works at World Vision and is planning the lunch, said: “Lots of us here have been so moved by the stories we have heard from East Africa that we wanted to do more than just our day jobs, in a comfy office, to help.
“Our chief executive recently visited the affected areas and has told us about some of the people he met. They included a mum who walked for a week with her five children to reach the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, but whose daughter died from measles shortly after they arrived.”
An estimated 13 million people are affected by the drought and famine in East Africa, where 2011 has been the driest year for 60 years. There is a devastating lack of food and water and thousands of children and pregnant women are suffering severe malnutrition.
Mr Turvey added: “Although a lunch of bread and soup doesn’t seem much compared to a lot of the meals you’d normally buy in Milton Keynes, our lunch is still more than millions of people can even dream of across East Africa.
“If other companies in Milton Keynes held similar events, we could raise even more for the aid effort in the region and the 1.4 million people World Vision has already reached.
“I’m sure people will be happy to miss out on an expensive sandwich for one day – especially when the money is going to such a worthwhile cause.”