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Hundreds of children arrived at their school dressed as superheroes this week as part of a nationwide campaign by Concern Worldwide to reduce hunger and food waste.
The new Hunger Heroes campaign was launched by Ireland’s largest international aid agency at Scoil na Mainistreach in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, where 600 pupils were allowed leave their grey uniforms at home and arrive dressed up as their favourite caped crusader.
The school, whose well-known past pupils include singer/songwriter Damien Rice, turned into a great gathering of heroes, villains and mutants, who all made their own costumes before they flew or zoomed to class for their Hunger Heroes Day using their incredible powers.
The costumes included Batman, Spiderman, Darth Vader and even Mayo brothers Diarmuid and Cillian O’Connor, who both play for their county and have helped them reach this year’s All-Ireland final.
The campaign encourages students to connect local issues of food waste and global problems of world hunger by undertaking fun school activities and fundraisers to become “hunger heroes”.
Hunger Hero Craig Doyle, 11, who is a member of the school’s Hunger Heroes Committee, said:
One of the things we ask people to do is get a compost bin and to put their food waste in it. If food waste is put into general rubbish bins it ends up in a landfill and creates the ozone damaging methane gas.
Concern’s school programme officer, Claire Marshall, added:
This dangerous gas contributes to climate change and the droughts and crop failures that leave millions in need of food aid in some of the world’s poorest countries, like Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Every night, 795 million people go to bed hungry and every morning 66 million children go to school hungry. Hunger Heroes is about fighting hunger and food waste locally and in our schools, and even in our kitchens. In Ireland, over one million tonnes of food waste is disposed of each year, one third of that from households. We are urging schools and students to become hunger heroes and learn how they can use their own powers to help fight this world problem.
Every school that takes part is sent an information pack full of games, posters, fact sheets and lessons for students, who each get a Hunger Hero certificate for participating, and a Concern representative can also go to the school to help set up campaign workshops.
One of the things they learn is how to store food properly in their fridge and how foods like mushrooms, onions and potatoes should be stored.
To take part in the Hunger Heroes campaign, contact Concern’s Claire Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 4178078.
Contact Concern Worldwide Communications Officer Kevin Jenkinson.