We’re here to help! We hope these FAQs cover everything you need to know but if you have any other questions please contact us on 0800 032 4002 or send us an email at rationchallengeuk@concern.net

General Faqs

What are the rations?

We’ve designed the Ration Challenge to reflect, as closely as we can, what it’s like to eat rations as a Syrian refugee in Jordan. You are able to eat the food rations in your ration box, rice and flour from two provided food coupons and any rewards you earn. The food ration pack includes rice 420g, lentils 170g, dried chickpeas 85g, tinned sardines 120g, tinned kidney beans 400g and vegetable oil 330ml. In your ration pack, you’ll also find two food ‘coupons’, for additional rice and flour. They are representative of the coupons many refugees are given by the UN or other organisations that can be exchanged in local shops for essential staple foods, such as rice and flour. To recreate your refugee experience, buy an additional 1.5kg of rice and 400g of plain flour and add these to your week’s rations. Tip: don’t try to use your coupons at the supermarket, they won’t work!

How do I receive my food ration pack?

All you have to do is sign up and we’ll send your ration pack straight to you. You’ll also get sent a welcome pack that includes a Ration Challenge Toolkit and recipe book.

Is there a vegetarian/vegan ration pack?

Yes! The ingredients in the ration pack are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, except for the sardines. When you register, we’ll give you the option to receive a ration pack without sardines. You can then replace the sardines with 120g of tofu (or other alternative of your choice).

Where does the money go?

The money you raise by taking the Ration Challenge will help support Syrian refugees living in camps in Jordan, having fled eight years of conflict and violence in their own country. You will help provide food rations, medicine and education for Syrian refugees. Your support will also help fund the work of Concern with refugees and internally displaced people in countries like Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bangladesh. It will also contribute towards Concern’s wider work in tackling hunger and extreme poverty with the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest places.

30% will be allocated to work supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan and 70% to supporting Concern’s work with refugees, displaced people and the most vulnerable people in in the world’s poorest places.

When is the Ration Challenge in 2019?

The Ration Challenge is held in Refugee Week, from Sunday 16 June – Sunday 23 June 2019. You start the Challenge when you wake up on the morning of Sunday 16 June and finish when you wake up on Sunday 23 June (not the Saturday night).

I’m busy 16-23 June. Can I do the Ration Challenge at a different time?

Yes! You can do the Challenge whenever you choose. Many people do the Ration Challenge early due to work, school or family commitments.

What happens if I slip up during the challenge and break the rules? Can I still continue?

The Challenge we’ve set is to eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee for the full seven days and we’re encouraging everyone to aim for this goal. However, if you do slip up and break a rule, you can make a penalty donation of at least £25 to your fundraising page and then continue with the Challenge. The Ration Challenge works on an honesty policy, so only you and your conscience will know if you break the rules!

How can I track the postage of my Ration Pack?

We’ll send you a Ration Pack when you sign up. Most packs will arrive within 2 weeks (excluding remote areas). You should also receive an email with a tracking code for your pack (make sure to check your junk email). If it has been longer than 2 weeks, please contact us and we can check to see what has happened.

How much of the money goes to refugees?

Around 30% of the net proceeds of the Ration Challenge will go directly to Syrian refugees living in Jordan, providing food rations, healthcare and education; the remainder will support the work of Concern Worldwide UK to tackle hunger and extreme poverty with the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest places.

In the last financial year, 89.9% of Concern’s expenditure went directly to overseas programmes. 2.5% was invested in policy, advocacy and campaigning. 7.4% was invested to raise even more funds and 0.2% was spent on organisational governance.

You can learn more about Concern’s commitment to transparency here.

What if I feel ill during the Ration Challenge?

If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a medical professional before taking part. If you feel ill during the Ration Challenge, cease participation immediately and see a doctor.

What is the nutritional value of the ration packs?

The calorie content of the food eaten during the Challenge (i.e. the contents of the ration pack provided plus the specified additional rice and flour) is below 1,738 kcal/person/day. This does not meet the Sphere Minimum Standard of 2,100 kcal/person/day. It is also not consistent with the daily calorie requirements of an average adult recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

I’m pregnant, can I take part?

It is recommended that pregnant women do not take part in the Challenge as they have additional dietary requirements that the rations do not meet.

I’m under 18, can I still take part?

Yes, but you can only take part in the Ration Challenge as part of a school or family organised activity, fully supervised by a teacher, parent or guardian (they’ll need to register on your behalf).

Please get in touch by sending an email to rationchallengeuk@concern.net or call us on 0800 032 4002. We’d love to have you on board!

Can I exercise during the challenge?

We don’t recommend that you dramatically increase your physical activity levels during the Challenge due to the additional nutritional requirements that exercising may have. If you exercise regularly in normal circumstances, it is recommended that you reduce the level of physical exertion you undertake during the Challenge.

Can I do the challenge for longer than a week?

No, it is not recommended that participants exceed the one-week duration of the Challenge.

How can I contact the team to get more support?

Have a question for us? You might find what you’re looking for on our FAQS page, or:

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is an income tax relief designed to benefit charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs). If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the charity can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.

To make a Gift Aid declaration, you must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify.

You can cancel a Gift Aid declaration at any time by notifying us on our Supporter Care number 08000324001. If you pay tax at the higher rate, you can claim further tax relief in your Self-Assessment tax return.

Please notify us of any changes to your name and/or address, or if you no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains.

Can I use my rewards throughout the week?

Yes! Use your rewards throughout the week EXCEPT the bonus item which is to be eaten in one single serving as a treat. All other rewards you can add to each meal as you wish until they run out.

What is a spice?

We define a spice as one aromatic or pungent vegetable substance used to flavour food that has been ground. For example, cumin seeds need to become a powder before they are considered a spice. This does not include a mix of multiple spices (for example a Mediterranean spice mix with 7+ spices).

Items that are considered a spice:
Ground chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground paprika, ground ginger, ground turmeric, or ground cayenne pepper.

Items that are not considered a spice:
Salt, dehydrated meats, ‘wet’ substances, vegetables in their original form (garlic, etc).

Can rewards be shared?

Can spice be shared?

If you are in a team you can share your earned spices WHEN you are cooking together in person. The reason we have made this rule as families are often able to share foods when they cook together, but are not able to do so unless they are physically together.

Can other rewards be shared?

When in a team and you are physically cooking together, your other food rations can be shared. If you are not in a team or not cooking together, you are not able to share your food rations or rewards.

What can I choose as my reward?

What type of teabags can I use?

The teabags are supposed to be basic teabags (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, etc) and not a luxury tea such as fruit mixes, spiced chai, etc. You may use any tea leaf.

What type of salt can I use?

The salt is intended to be a basic item. You may use what you deem a basic salt but we highly recommend this not be a fancy salt mix contained many ingredients. For example we would say YES to basic rock salt but NO to a Salt mix containing salt, pepper and spices.

What vegetables am I allowed?

You may use 170g of any ONE fresh vegetable, and this can be used across your week as you like. The weight is when uncooked and can NOT be the dehydrated weight.

What protein can I use?

You may use any 120g of any one protein, weighed prior to cooking. This protein can be enjoyed across your week. The weight is when uncooked and can NOT be the dehydrated weight.

What hot or cold drink can I use?

You may enjoy any ONE hot or cold drink (alcohol included) of your choice. You should drink this in one sitting and it should be no more than 330mL.

What can my bonus item be?

Your bonus item should be one item, and not made of different components (for example a hamburger has a bun and a burger and lettuce and cheese). Instead, it should be one item, for example, chocolate, or cheese, a yoghurt, or an avocado. It can be anything up to the value of $5, and it should be one single serving (not a HUGE bag of chips) that is enjoyed in one sitting.

Your bonus item can be: A glass of wine, a chocolate bar, a piece of fruit, an expresso, a muffin, a small bag of chips, a cookie, etc.

Your bonus item can NOT be: A carton of eggs, a pumpkin you use throughout the whole week, a family size bag of chips, a family size chocolate bar, a meal deal.