Film stars inspire couple's good deed.
A MARRIED couple are going to deliver food parcels to families in need after hearing parents were going without food to feed their children. Filmmaker Matt Callanan, from Cardiff, was filming a documentary in Hollywood star George Clooney's house last year.
And while Matt was packing away camera equipment, the actor was showing a guest around his house.
The guest was none other than Bill Murray, who just happens to be Matt's all-time favourite actor and hero. Matt said: "It was insane and bizarre. Two members of film royalty were chatting and joking with me like I was just one of the guys. I thought, 'How am I ever going to top this day?'" And since that day, Matt has been thinking about just that.
Matt said: "One of my absolute favourite Bill Murray films is Groundhog Day. Someone has worked out that Billy Murray's character Phil spends 12,403 days having the same day. By the end he's a really nice person, helping people in the town and such.
"I decided to try and achieve 403 good deeds - inspired by the excitement of meeting Bill Murray - and hopefully make people a little bit happier, make them smile and maybe make their day a little bit better."
And Matt decided to take action after reading in the Echo earlier this week that nearly a third of Welsh parents are ready to skip a meal so their children don't go hungry.
Now, Matt and his wife Andrea are looking for six Cardiff or Bristol families in need to deliver anonymous food parcels to as part of Matt's good deeds project.
The generous couple plan to tell the families: "This is from someone who wants you to know you're cared for and we're just the delivery people."
Matt's Facebook post advertising the "genuine offer" says he hopes the parcels will make the families' weeks a little bit easier.
Matt said: "After reading some of the horrible and ignorant comments after the article such as 'If there is no money to feed the children don't have them' and 'They look obese so they could do with missing the odd meal',' I really felt I needed to help in a small way.
"There are the food banks, but it's not as easy as just rocking up for some food, you have to be referred."
Matt is calling on the public to get in contact with him if they know a family that may need a helping hand.
He said: "If you know a family with kids that might be struggling a bit and would appreciate a food parcel, let us know on Facebook messenger or firstname.lastname@example.org" But he has asked people not to post personal details of the families on social media.
Matt has already had offers from other generous people pledging to join him and do the same.
One of Matt's first 403 good deeds was to take a Big Issue seller into a supermarket in Cardiff Bay, give him a basket and tell him to fill it with whatever he liked and Matt would pay for it. Matt said he wants to leave a legacy to inspire his one-year-old son. He said: "My dad, who unfortunately died of cancer aged 58, was an amazing person. He was great for his community, always helping others and nothing was too much trouble for him.
"I thought, how could I be more like him? How could I pass on his good values? So thanks to George Clooney, my son will hopefully be inspired to carry out some simple acts of kindness throughout his life, with Bill Murray and my dad as his inspirations."
Tony Graham, Foodbank network manager for Wales & Northern Ireland at The Trussell Trust, said families who rely on free meals in term time can end up facing hunger in the school holidays.
He added: "No-one knows the full scale of hunger in Wales during the school holidays yet, but these figures make one thing clear - many families are closer to crisis than we think.
"It should be a wake-up call to us all that so many children will have a parent expecting to skip a meal or more this summer so they can feed the family." | To see Matt's documentary, visit walesonline.co.uk
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day
Matt and Andrea Callanan are pledging to help six struggling families