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Hungry Nation โ€“ hear true accounts of food poverty in Britain today

๐Ÿ—“ Thurs 28โ€“Sat 30 April 2022
๐Ÿ“Œ Albany Theatre, Coventry, CV5 6JQ
๐ŸŽŸ ยฃ3

There are more food banks than branches of McDonald’s in the UK

5.7 million UK adults experienced food insecurity from Aug 2021 to Jan 2022

30.8% of all food purchased in the UK is thrown away

Statistics like these can seem hard to believe โ€“
until you encounter peopleโ€™s stories first-hand.

Food poverty truths

Hungry Nation is a creative collaboration, involving 8 people who want to get their experiences of food poverty heard by a wider audience.

Faiza, Roxie, Simon, Nick, Tony, Bradley, Tom and Hema will take to a stage with a new piece of theatre in their home town of Coventry as part of its City of Culture year โ€“ to express what it feels like not knowing where your next meal will come from.

Join us on an epic journey to unpick why people are going hungry in one of the richest countries in the world.

On 28-30 April, you can come along to the Albany Theatre in Coventry and hear these stories for yourself.

The 8 participants will share their words with you in the way they’ve chosen โ€“ through live music, storytelling, audio and movement.

Inspired by real accounts from volunteers and members of Foleshill Social Supermarket with lived experience of food poverty, this unflinching performance has been entirely co-created with them.

๐Ÿ—“ Thurs 28โ€“Sat 30 April 2022
๐Ÿ“Œ Albany Theatre, Coventry, CV5 6JQ
๐ŸŽŸ ยฃ3

Personal accounts

How Hungry Nation came about

The Hungry Nation participants are from Coventry and they have all lived in food poverty and insecurity.

They are women, men, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers โ€“ ordinary people who found themselves in totally unexpected hardship.

Many of them they have never been given the chance to express themselves before. Over the last 6 months, they have worked with professional artists to create work and share their stories as well as their brilliant creativity. There is a real gift for writing in the group.

People became involved in the project through their association with Foleshill Community Centre: a social supermarket, a community centre and a space that holds a lifeline for many in the community. It is an amazing place, that literally saves lives by feeding people.

This has been a sensitive journey for many, as sharing their story is triggering. The path to food poverty is a traumatic one, which no one chooses.

It is a journey that has created substantial mental health issues โ€“ but the participants have found that joining a creative, co-created process has really helped. When youโ€™re hungry and you have to choose between heating your house or feeding your children, being creative is not a priority.

At the start of 2022, the group of 8 decided they wanted to work together and Co-create a performance with music, their own accounts of food poverty and a narrative storyline combining wider themes.

Hungry Nation is the result.

This has been a co-created process, meaning it’s been developed with and for a community, rather than ‘done to’ them.

At Strike A Light, we’ve been working in this way for a while. It’s important to us that work is produced collaboratively, in a way that genuinely shares power amongst the collaborators.

In this instance, we’re not experts in food poverty โ€“ the participants in the project are. Their voice and experiences have shaped everything about Hungry Nation.

As part of the process, we worked with one participant to record an original song: ‘Just A Number’, written and performed by David Wright. David is based in Coventry; he is married with three children and has lived experience of food poverty.

Who’s involved

The participants sharing their stories as part of Hungry Nation are:

  • Faiza
  • Roxie
  • Simon
  • Nick
  • Tony
  • Bradley
  • Tom
  • Roy

The creative team for Hungry Nation includes:

  • Jo Newman, Director
  • Caroline Horton, Writer
  • Naomi Said, Movement Director
  • Tom Johnson, Musical Director

Foleshill Community Supermarket

If you would like to help, please consider supporting Foleshill Community Supermarket. Their work is invaluable, offering a dignified shopping experience and feeding between 300-400 people a week.

Co-created art

This project is made possible thanks to the generous support of: