Eating is not just a biological act, but also a political and ecological one. In his book, The Spirituality of Fasting, Charles M Murphy says,
‘Eating is… a religious act that celebrates our greatest ties to God, the earth, and one another. Thinking of eating in this way helps us to realise how greatly reduced and less satisfying eating has become when it is nothing more than a refuelling exercise engaged in alone and on the run’.
Food is implicated in our identity (body image, health and wellbeing, links with mental health); our culture and how we engage with different cultures; politics (food poverty, gifting food, inequality, starvation as a weapon, self-starvation as a political tool, sustainability, food security), and spirituality (fasting, eating, mysticism, bread of life, manna from heaven).
God who calls us ‘beloved’,
God of hills and skies,
Oceans and rivers,
Of the earth and of all growing things,
Forgive our carelessness with our surroundings,
Our casual dismissals,
Our refusal to pay attention,
To take note,
To love what you have made.
When we eat,
Renew our senses,
Sharpen our awareness,
Of what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
Remind us that the simple act of eating
Is a matter of life and death,
And that what we eat,
And how we eat it,
Can give life to others,
Or take it from them.
(by Alison Webster)
999 Food — an overview of food aid and food banks in the Diocese of Oxford.
Emergency Use Only — a report on understanding and reducing the use of food banks in the UK, by the Church of England, Oxfam GB, Trussell Trust and Child Poverty Action Group
999 Food and Holiday Hunger — an article from the Diocese of Oxford.
Find Out More
Feeding Britain — There’s no place for hunger in the UK; access to good quality food for all is possible, and essential for a thriving society.
Trussell Trust — support a nationwide network of food banks and provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
Independent Food Aid Network — UK network for independent food aid providers, supporting a range of independent frontline food aid organisations and advocating on their behalf at a national level.
End Hunger UK – a coalition of more than 40 national charities, frontline organisations, faith groups, academics and individuals working for a UK where no one has to go to bed hungry.