– Mayor’s Pancake Challenge – Tuesday 21st February 2023 (Pancake Day)

Ryde Mayor, Cllr Michael Lilley, will be hosting his 8th annual pancake flipping contest on Pancake day, Tuesday 21st February 2023, at Pickle and Dill on Union Street at 3:30pm.

The annual event, held since 2016, raises yearly the issue of poverty and food insecurity in Ryde as well as across the Isle of Wight and raises funds for food projects. Cllr Lilley has two food projects in his ward of Ryde Appley and Elmfield – Ryde Foodbank and Oakfield Primary School Community Pantry.

The Pancake idea was created by Cllr Lilley, and Erica Manley, a Ryde Foodbank volunteer. Sadly, Erica died recently and this year’s event is in her memory.

Since 2016, over £10,000 has been raised.

Cllr Lilley says:

Going hungry and not having the money to feed your family and children, is the most desperate state to be in. To also have the humiliation of having to go and seek free food is devastating for some people. Erica and all the volunteers of food projects such as Ryde Foodbank, Oakfield Community Pantry, Ryde Aspire and Oakvale Foodshare, have always greeted people coming food with dignity, understanding, kindness, welcome, and are totally non-judgemental.

Erica believed that we all could at some time in our life be literally on the breadline and no-one should be hungry in the 21st Century. She and I believed that you keep raising the issue of food poverty every year until there is no-one going without.

This year’s event is in Erica’s memory and to all the volunteers who give their time to help others not go hungry.”

The cost-of-living crisis is highlighting the severity of food poverty in the UK including the Isle of Wight. Millions are being pushed below the breadline as food costs soar, with many struggling to feed themselves and their families. All local food projects have seen a huge increase in demand over the past 12 months.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just published “The Essential Guide to Understanding Poverty in the UK in 2023” (26th January 2023). The Guide states:

Many people in the UK struggle to have enough food. Even more struggle to afford food that is nutritious – food that meets dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The banner of food insecurity covers a wide range of circumstances where there is a lack of access to sufficient, varied food, or a risk of this. Apart from basic nutrition, food security is linked to economic stability and long-term health.

For children, severe food insecurity has been linked to chronic health conditions like asthma and depression. A diet lacking in calories, protein, vitamins and minerals will impede a child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development.

Adults in food-insecure households have higher rates of developing chronic diseases such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes and mental health issues, as well as lower life expectancy. For a pregnant woman, it can lead to higher risk of low birthweight, pre-term delivery and slow cognitive development for her baby.”

The Ryde Pancake Day event includes children from Oakfield Primary School and volunteers from Oakfield Community Pantry making and flipping pancakes with the Mayor from 12-2pm followed by the “Open to All Challengers” flipping event at 330pm at Pickle and Dill where Bob “the chef” will be hoping to keep his title. Come along to challenge the Mayor and Bob.

Each challenger has to flip as many pancakes in a minute.

From 5.00pm the Mayor will be visiting the High Street and popping into Crepe Lovers and The Star. Veteran high-heeled campaigner, Peter May, and Quivers are coming along to challenge.

Please come and join in but more importantly give generously to the cause of preventing food poverty. All donations will be split between Ryde/IW Foodbank, Oakfield Community Pantry, Ryde Aspire and Oakvale Foodshare.

Reference and further information:

Food poverty in the UK: The causes, figures and solutions (bigissue.com)

UK Poverty 2023: The essential guide to understanding poverty in the UK | JRF

Mayor’s Charity Fund Just Giving


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