iCan Week: Children brainstorm ideas to tackle food poverty

As part of our iCan Week – five days of news stories, features, interviews, slideshows and videos in support of a local charity initiative that tackles food poverty – Year Six students at West Jesmond Primary School took a break from their afternoon lessons to discuss how they could help tackle food poverty in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sixty pupils divided into small groups to brainstorm ideas on how their school could raise awareness about iCan – a scheme from FareShare North East whose organisers believe that if each person in Newcastle upon Tyne donated a single can of food, food poverty in the city could be eliminated.

In their separate groups, the children came up with can-collecting activities, and they shared some of their original ideas with JesmondLocal. Watch the video by our reporters Katrina Stevenson, Alexandra Carr and Maria Loupa here:

Some of the children suggested that each student could bring a can for every item of school clothing they want to change to non-school uniform. A “pupils versus teachers” can collection contest was also on the iCan agenda – a popular choice, suggesting the children’s desire to compete against their teachers.

A bake sale, talent show, and a school fair were also discussed. The pupils proposed that friends and family should pay for the events in cans.

Since desperate times call for desperate measures, others came up with contemporary and fun concepts, such as a Lady Gaga can-dress design competition and dressing-up-as-a-can event.

Thinking outside of school activities, students considered the option of putting posters around Jesmond to spread the word about iCan.

Fifteen of the Year Six students then took up the role of grown-ups for half an hour and expanded their thoughts on the iCan project. They came up with ways in which the people of Newcastle could donate cans.

The accumulated cans are collected by FareShare and distributed to 36 different projects across the north east, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and children’s breakfast clubs providing food to those most in need – including some who may go a day or more without a meal.

Our iCan week concludes on Saturday 19th November, with a fundraising/can-raising night at the The Mixer on West Jesmond Avenue.

For more iCan details, visit www.icanfeed.org

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