CHILDREN in Woking are being urged to write a short poem about hunger and what it means to them as part of a national competition run by anti-poverty charity the Trussell Trust.

The charity, which supports a network of food banks across the UK, is calling on youngsters aged nine and under to create and draw a hungry character and tell its story in the form of a short poem as part of its Bye Bye Hunger competition.

Deadline for entries is this weekend (Sunday 30 May).

The top 20 entries will be published in a book of poetry and one star prizewinner will see their character brought to life in a Trussell Trust campaign to end the need for food banks.

More Woking families than ever are relying on food banks to feed their children.

The Trussell Trust distributed 2,885 emergency food parcels for children facing crisis in Woking between April 2020 and March 2021, a substantial increase on the 1,797 parcels that were given out for children across the same area in the previous year.

Bye Bye Hunger was inspired by a mother who sent a poem to the Trussell Trust this year about how she was judged for needing a food bank to feed her child.

The Trussell Trust turned her poem into a short film, which has been backed by celebrities including musician Liam Payne, comedian Dawn French and Simon King from The Hairy Bikers.

Explaining how she could not afford to feed herself or her young child, the mother’s poem includes the line: “I needed free food because I didn’t have enough money, I didn’t have enough food in my child’s tummy.”

A panel of celebrity judges – including comedian Dom Joly, actress Tamzin Outhwaite and Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell – will select the winning entries. They will be looking for children to showcase their imagination, and use language, emotion and storytelling in their poems.

Dom Joly said: “The Bye Bye Hunger poetry competition is a brilliant opportunity for us adults to learn from the far wiser and brighter minds of kids aged nine and under.

“They see things we don’t and I’m really looking forward to seeing their creativity in action – and the hunger-free future they draw for us.”

Tamzin Outhwaite said: “The mother’s poem was just so heartbreaking. We must stop and reflect on this and create a hunger-free future together.”

Children have until Sunday 30 May to submit their entries. To find out more and enter, visit