Whitby shop owner set to live on a refugee’s rations for a week

Deb Gillanders, who is set to live off a Syrian refugee's rations.
Deb Gillanders, who is set to live off a Syrian refugee's rations.

A Whitby shop owner is to live on the same rations as a Syrian refugee to raise awareness of the plight of refugees around the world.

Deb Gillanders, owner of Whitby Wholefoods, is taking on the sponsored Ration Challenge as part of Refugee Week. which runs from this Sunday to next Sunday (June 16-23).

She has already raised £500 but is counting on the people of Whitby to help her increase that tally.

Deb told the Whitby Gazette what an eye-opener it was when she opened her ration box.

“My family and friends are sponsoring me and the money raised will support refugees in camps and other vulnerable communities, who desperately need our help,” she said.

“When I first saw the small amount of rations I would be living on, I was shocked to say the least. My biggest worry is that I’ll have scoffed the lot by Wednesday.

“It was a real eye-opener when I opened my ration box and found it contained a scarily small amount of food – rice, lentils, beans, oil and a tin of sardines.

“I realised that people in refugee camps live on these rations, day in and day out.

“No fresh fruit or veg.

“I can’t walk in a refugee’s shoes but food is such a universal way of bringing people together that I knew this was something I could do.”

People can sponsor Deb in two ways – online, at my.rationchallenge.org.uk/degb or by popping into her shop Whitby Wholefoods, on St Ann’s Lane, where there is a jar on the counter for donations.

“I’ll be missing my daily fresh coffee,” she added, “so if anyone feels like donating the cost of a latte out of sympathy that’d be much appreciated.”