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CAFOD Family Fast Day 2019

CAFOD’s Family Fast Day has a long tradition of supporting communities around the world. This year on Friday 4th October they’re inviting you to eat a simple meal for lunch or dinner, and give the money saved to help people in poverty.

The idea of a Family Fast Day began in 1960 when a group of Catholic women heard about a mother and baby clinic in Dominica that needed support. The group asked congregations to give up one meal and donate what they saved to charity. They received overwhelming support.

From this, CAFOD was born. Elspeth Orchard, one of CAFOD’s founders, explained, ‘We weren’t doing anything special, we were just doing what we thought we ought to do, remembering that we are all God’s children.’

This is a message CAFOD has carried through the annual Family Fast Days, as no one should be beyond reach of the love and support they need to thrive.

One example is Fabiano, whose village in rural Uganda had been devastated by drought. Every day, children would trek miles for water, risking their education, and safety. Donations from parishioners across England and Wales helped install a solar-powered water pump in his village. Now Fabiano and his friends can collect water quickly and safely.

You can make the Fast Day an event by inviting family, friends and fellow parishioners to join you in having a simple soup lunch or supper. All you need to do is:
1. Choose a venue. Make sure it has enough space, plenty of bowls and spoons, and somewhere to heat the soup.
2. Recruit helpers. Ask friends to make soups, ideally with home grown or Fairtrade ingredients, and to help serve.
3. Invite friends and neighbours, by placing a notice in the parish newsletter and posters around the church or community centre. Download a poster to personalise at 

A way to make your donation go even further is through Gift Aid. Last year, Gift Aid donations raised nearly £3 million.

CAFOD extends its thanks to all for their fasting, prayer and generosity for our global family. Find out more at