Report …: With Correspondence of the Agents, Tables, &c., and a List of … By British Association for the Relief of the Extreme Distress in Ireland and Scotland
During the autumn and winter of 1846-1847 the disaster of the great famine came to Ireland. In January 1847, a group of English banking leaders combined to raise funds for famine relief via a private charity named the “British Relief Association” and entrusted Strzelecki to dispense them ( £500,000) Strzelecki was appointed the main agent of the Association to superintend the distribution of supplies in County Sligo, County Mayo and County Donegal. In order to alleviate the critical situation of famished Irish families and especially children, Strzelecki developed a visionary and exceptionally effective mode of assistance: feeding starving children directly through the schools. He extended daily food rations to schoolchildren across the most famine-stricken western part of Ireland, while also distributing clothing and promoting basic hygiene. At its peak in 1848, around 200,000 children from all denominations were being fed through the efforts of the B.R.A., many of whom would have otherwise perished from hunger and disease. Despite suffering from the effects of typhoid fever he contracted in Ireland, Strzelecki dedicated himself tirelessly to hunger relief. His commitment was widely recognized and praised by his contemporaries. In recognition of his services, he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in November 1848.