Last week, Global Mission Team and Politics A Level students had the opportunity to meet our MP, Mrs Jane Hunt, to discuss CAFOD’s step up to the plate campaign which encourages us all to challenge the broken food system. We discussed what we as individuals can do as well as what actions the Government can take to ensure that more people have food to eat around the world.

Thank you to Mrs Hunt for giving her time to this discussion, and well done to all our students for asking some very challenging and thought-provoking questions.

Year 11 student, Caitlin, provided the following feedback:

Following the introduction of CAFOD’s step up to the plate campaign into prep times across the school, many De Lisle students, including those who participate in the Global Mission Team, joined together with their Local Member of Parliament: Jane Hunt. Inspired by CAFOD’s campaign, students put forward questions about climate change, food security, and the poverty line in order to best decide how they can help in their local and global communities.

Students used the interview to get a better understanding of how the UK government  helps those who have fallen into poverty. When asked how action is taken by the state, Mrs Hunt replied that the government works with aid organisations which provide money to disadvantaged countries worldwide. More locally, however, the MP stated perhaps we [the government] don’t do enough. De Lisle students were challenged by this statement and have already set into motion plans to raise money for CAFOD as well as to keep many people warm during this cost of living crisis. Additionally, pupils were intrigued on the MP’s thoughts on climate change after the increase on education about this subject. Whilst Mrs Hunt would not describe it as a “crisis”, she noted it is important to focus on the use of hydrogen in our community. The Global Mission Team have been working to address problems on a worldwide scale by contributing small efforts that will ultimately aid the transformation of many issues; Jane Hunt informed students on small ways they could contribute to addressing climate change. She told pupils that she has solar panels on her house, a low emission car and recycles regularly as she has two green bins. This encouraged students to think of their own ways to reduce the effects of climate change as well as to being initiative .

Students then asked questions about food security –  something they had learnt about due to their CAFOD step up to the plate study. Pupils asked whether food security was an issue in their local community of Leicestershire to which Mrs Hunt responded that food security was less of an issue however the council have found that the low paid jobs in Leicestershire are proving a problem. More globally, Jane Hunt said that students should focus on the redistribution of food instead of the shortage of it; this could be done by giving to non- government organisations (charities), such as CAFOD, which works to tackle issues stemming from poverty. This was positive news for the students as they have already started focusing on NGO’s, such as the charity toilet twinning in the next few weeks.

Overall, students benefited from taking action on their step up to the plate promise; To meet with their MP to address issues relevant today. Speaking to Jane Hunt gave students the opportunity to take initiative as well as to be creative with their questions.