A cook who spends her days surrounded by food will live on basic rations for a week to raise money and awareness for refugees.
Empty shelves caused by panic buying at the start of lockown made Heather McKay think about people who don’t have enough to eat and she decided she wanted to help.
On Sunday she will start the week-long Ration Challenge, organised by Concern Worldwide, a charity which helps provide food and medical care for refugees.
The 44-year-0ld from Dundee will live on a basic ration package of rice, flour, lentils, chickpeas, sardines and kidney beans, although she can earn rewards such as teabags and salt through sponsorships.
Heather said: “During lockdown I couldn’t get the food I was looking for so that got me thinking about people who already didn’t have what they needed and were struggling even more than before.
“I did a bit of research and came across the challenge and decided to sign up.
“I’m starting to get nervous now. I’ve been trialling some of the recipes and it’s very bland and beige. I tend to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and meat which there isn’t any of.
There’s lots of rice so I’ll be making fried rice, rice crackers and things and I’ve been making hummus,and chickpea curry. It’s really basic stuff.”
As Heather has raised more than £400 in sponsors, she has earned 10 teabags and a small amount of vegetables and protein.
She said: “I’ve been so overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
“At the moment a lot of people are struggling for money because they’ve had their hours cut or are on furlough so I thought it would be more about awareness than sponsorship but people have been so generous, even people I haven’t seen for years.
“It has been really nice to see the support.”
Despite being surrounded by food during her job as a cook at Tayview Primary School, it is coffee she expects to miss most.
“I don’t know whether to have a big meal on Saturday before I start or whether that is a bad idea,” she said.
“I’ve cut back on coffee drastically this week to prepare for it. I’ve got 10 teabags so I’ll need to reuse them.”
Donations can be made at www.rationchallenge.org.uk/heather-mc-kay
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