Jeremy Cain, Hallam Community Participation Coordinator, invites you to SPAM for Fast Day.
True or false? Spam is so popular in Hawaii that Burger King started to serve it just to compete with McDonald’s.
I am, of course, talking about the famous tinned meat, introduced to the world in 1937, just in time to become a staple of war time rationing. Surprisingly, it’s popularity has never declined, so much so that a survey in the 1990s supposedly revealed that three tins of the stuff are eaten every second. Not by me!
In 1970 it spawned a famous Monty Python sketch- complete with singing Vikings- which, in turn, led to the use of the word for unsolicited email messages. So, in eighty years it has become a cultural icon; not bad for something with such questionable nutritional benefits.
Yet at CAFOD when we talk about SPAM, we mean something completely different (as John Cleese might say). We love our acronyms, and this one stands for Speaking at Mass, an essential means of communicating our work to our supporters. Us regional staff are always happy to receive invites to do this but, as we approach Harvest Fast Day on 6th October, we’d like everyone to get involved.
People in our parishes are always generous but, like everyone else, they want to know that their money is being well spent. Our 2-minute short talk aims to do just that by showcasing our work and explaining how people’s donations are crucial to lifting people out of poverty. We find our supporters really appreciate hearing the impact they can have and are often more generous because of it.
So, if you’re one of our Parish Contacts and have yet to do so, please ask your Parish Priest if you can read out the talk at the end of Mass. If this isn’t the sort of thing you’re good at, ask someone else (the people on the parish reading rota are often willing). But even if you’re not a parish contact, please let us know if you can help. Last year, a volunteer spoke in three different parishes and managed to increase our collection by 37%!
By the way, the answer is true. Apparently, Hawaii is the US state with the highest consumption of Spam per capita, a dubious accolade if ever I’ve heard one. Still, if you’re a spam lover, Google the islands’ famous spam musubi recipe and let us know what you think!