A month of WWII rations: Hitchin family’s quest for charity

MEET the Tooke family, whose charity fundraiser with a twist certainly gives food for thought.

For the family, who live in Hitchin, have decided to live on a diet of World War II rations for the whole of September.

It means that a number of foods are off the menu, and certain items including tea, meat, ham, bacon, butter, margarine, milk, cheese, sugar and eggs, are limited.

Wendy and Nigel and their two daughters, 17-year-old Amy and 14-year-old Sarah, started their challenge on Friday. All the money that they save on their shopping bill will be donated to Garden House Hospice, as will any sponsorship money that they receive.

“We thought it was a bit of a different way of raising money,” said Wendy, whose interest in all things World War II founded the idea.


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“We’ve done fundraising in the past, and people get bored of sponsoring for the same things. So it’s quite nice to do something like this.

“We had a conversation where we wondered what things we will be craving. We think lemons and things like olive oil.

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“We’ve worked out an average of the rations you’d get throughout the war. It’s things like two ounces of cheese a week for all of us, which really isn’t a lot at all. Things like that will make it quite difficult.

“I’m going to really struggle with tea, as I drink lots of that, and am having to limit myself to a mug of tea with breakfast and one at tea time!”

The family estimate that they will spend half of what they usually do on their weekly shop, amounting to �200 that they’ll be able to donate to the charity.

“It’s taken a lot of time, but it’s a fabulous way to cut your bill. It’s a bit like how my parents ate. It’s a healthy diet, low in fat. I will probably lose some weight off it,” added Wendy.

“We’ll have lots of potatoes, lots of carrots and onions. Luckily, it’s blackberry time, and we’ll get some crab apples to make blackberry and apple jam.

“We have a number of recipes planned - Woolton pie, corned beef hash, lamb hotpot, rabbit stew and Spam fritters.

“Sarah has done lots of research, she’s been really driving it. She’s done a spreadsheet of our weekly shop, researched what would be available and devised a menu.”

The Tookes are also raising sponsorship as part of their feat. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/tookesonrations

You can also use the new Just Giving method of texting a sponsorship, by texting GARD39 followed by 5 or 10, depending on which amount you want to donate, to 70070.

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