Blog - September 3rd, 2020

Could you survive on the rations available to a Syrian refugee for a week?

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Starting Sunday 13th September, our wonderful PR expert Emma is taking on the Ration Challenge. For 7 days she will only be allowed to eat food provided in her Ration Box, which is the same amount of food typically available to a Syrian refugee fleeing conflict, poverty and violence. The goal of the challenge is to raise money to feed people in desperate need, and to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

We’ve been facing our own sets of challenges this year, but most of us are lucky enough to have access to a warm, safe home and an abundance of food. It’s easy to forget as you browse the supermarket shelves that some people don’t know where their next meal will come from - or if it will come at all.

What’s in the Ration Box?

For a week, participants will survive on a meagre food parcel consisting of 1.92kg rice, 400g flour, 170g lentils, 85g dried chickpeas, 120g tinned sardines (or in Emma’s case, tofu), 400g tinned kidney beans and 330ml vegetable oil. Here’s a picture. It looks like the ingredients for a single meal - but this food has to last a whole week.

the ration challenge box

Why is she doing this?

Emma says, ‘By taking part in this challenge it will mean that for 7 days (from Sunday 13 September – Saturday 19 September) I will only eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee. A small amount of rice, flour, lentils, chickpeas, beans, oil, and tofu. I truly appreciate that this has been a challenging few months for everyone for many reasons but refugees were already living a nightmare, and now, as a result of the pandemic, many more will face devastating hunger.’ Check out Emma’s page here

When Emma’s ration pack arrived, she was prepared for it to be small, but she was still shocked when faced with the reality of what many refugees are forced to live on. 

woman on black background

‘Today I received my Ration Box. Obviously signing up to this challenge I knew that we would be given very limited supplies, but when I actually opened the box and saw how much food Syrian refugees are expected to live on week in and week out I found it deeply upsetting. How is it that so many people are still facing devastating hunger?’

We’ll let you know how Em gets on during her ration week, so check back in for updates to the story.

How can I help?

If you’re inspired to help out, you can sponsor Emma on her page. Donations will help the charity provide real help to those who need it. It’s startling how little money is required to provide a refugee with the food they need - just £39 will allow a refugee to eat proper food for three months. That’s three months of not having to stare starvation in the face every day, and of not having to worry about how you and your children will survive.

ration challenge

If you’re feeling brave, you can have a go at the Ration Challenge yourself! Just be sure to send us regular updates on your ration journey.

Or if you want to help raise awareness, please share Emma’s story and use the hashtag #inthistogether

Who wrote this?



She / her; red / blue. Mel is a writer, editor and designer. Equally happy hiking a muddy trail as playing tabletop roleplay games by candlelight. Will seize any opportunity for a party, as long as said party features copious food, prosecco and hits from the 1980s. Her true passion lies in words. A student of literature, she is fascinated by enduring myths, etymology and science fiction. Kurt Vonnegut is her hero. “We are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”

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