AS manager of Hexham Farmers’ Market, Peter Samsom is used to being surrounded by a variety of fresh and nutritious food.

But he pushed all that temptation away from him this week as he lived off paltry rations to signify what little food Syrian refugees in Jordan are handed to survive in refugee camps.

Peter, of Wark, has raised more than £2,500 for Concern Worldwide by signing up for the charity’s global Ration Challenge, which highlights the daily struggles experienced by refugees across the world by challenging people to significantly reduce their food intake. At the time of going to print, the amount Peter had raised was the third highest nationwide.

Instead of the traditional shopping list, all he was given for the entire seven days was two kilos of rice, 400g of plain flour, 330ml of cooking oil, 85g of chickpeas and 170g of red lentils. Participants could earn extra food depending on money raised.

Peter said: “I spend almost all my time around food as manager of the farmers’ market, as a smallholder in the North Tyne and as a worker for Durham Food.

“My next birthday will be my 60th so I was looking for things to do to mark that, and I felt this was very appropriate for me to do.

“Everybody has a right to good food, and if I can do a little bit to raise awareness and cash to make sure people in refugee camps have enough to eat, I am happy to do so.”

Peter was joined in the challenge by Ginnie O’Farrell, of Hexham, who signed up for the cause after seeing derogatory comments aimed at refugees online.

She said: “I wasn’t inspired by the challenge at all at first and I thought it sounded awful.

“But what made me incredibly sad was comments from people saying there’s people in our country hungry so we shouldn’t help refugees.

“I support the West Northumberland Foodbank, but felt I could support Syrian refugees too. This challenge made me realise how much we take access to food for granted, and how little food waste I’ve had this week.”