- Tearfund launches Mean Bean Challenge as millions continue to face extreme hunger and severe food shortages
Carol Monaghan, the MP for Glasgow North West, is committing to a diet of a handful of rice and beans to experience life like millions of the world’s poorest people and raise awareness of the work of Christian charity Tearfund.
Ms Monaghan, who is the SNP’s education spokesperson, is taking part in Tearfund’s Mean Bean Challenge, living off a small amount of porridge, plain rice and plain beans a day, to highlight the the plight of those in developing countries who have to survive on the same subsistence-level diet.
The former physics teacher will join hundreds of people across the country doing the Mean Bean challenge to raise money for the international development agency.
Ms Monaghan said: "I'm doing the Mean Bean challenge because I think it's a really tangible way of connecting with the harsh realities of poverty that millions of people face every day. I am sure living on so little food will be difficult for me but many people have no choice. It's a privilege to do this challenge to support Tearfund and the work they do in more than 50 countries around the world - including in East Africa where we are seeing famine taking hold."
More than 800 people across the UK have already signed up to the gruelling week-long, so far raising over £40,000 for the charity’s work in countries such as Ethiopia, Malawi, South Sudan and Kenya. The charity encourages people to sign up and support the Mean Bean Challenge.
Tearfund’s International Director Myles Harrison, who is also doing the challenge, said: “What is happening to the millions of people facing famine is heartbreaking and it is unthinkable that in 2017 when we have more than enough food to feed everyone, millions of people around the world are still going to bed hungry. Here in the UK we are often detached from the everyday difficulties families and whole communities are facing. Doing the Mean Bean challenge not only brings this home (I am wondering how I am going to get through the week and still be able to work!) but also helps to raise money for our projects which are providing life saving assistance in over 50 countries. Why not join in too and get your family and friends to sponsor you?”
Money raised by those participating in the Mean Bean challenge will go towards Tearfund projects - including running feeding centres, helping pregnant mothers and carrying out farming training.
Donald Mavunduse, the charity’s Head of East and Southern Africa, said: “It is vital that we continue to fund the crucial work we are carrying out across Africa - pre-empting impending crises and dealing with those we’re seeing unfolding.”
To find out how you can get involved in the Mean Bean challenge, please visit: www.tearfund.org/meanbean
Notes for editors
- For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Tearfund’s media team: Rehema Figueiredo on 07962 242421 email@example.com or Sarah Greenwood on 07720 288227 firstname.lastname@example.org
Out of hours, please contact: 07710 573749
- Photos attached: Please credit Tearfund
File 137172 - Christian SNP MP Carol Monagahan is living off rice and beans for Tearfund
File 137173 - Christian SNP MP Carol Monagahan who is doing the Mean Bean challenge for Tearfund stands speaking in the House of Commons
File 137174 & 137175 - Tearfund beneficiary Lyson who lives in the Dowa district, central Malawi whose family have received sustainable agricultural training, to grow enough food and earn a secure livelihood
- The Mean Bean challenge takes place from March 27th - 31st. Participants are encouraged to eat limited quantities of rice and beans but can adapt the challenge to suit their needs. All money raised goes towards Tearfund’s work. Every £120 raised could provide 12 families with sustainable agricultural training, to secure a hunger-free future.
- Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters’ Emergency Committee www.tearfund.org