- a joint project with Wilbraham St Ninian's URC
For some time there has been a small foodbank in church which allows us to give tinned and non-perishable food to hungry people. The scheme was started by the congregation of Wilbraham St Ninian's and we have been contributing to it. Members and visitors to our church are kind enough to donate food to this scheme and we have been very touched by their generosity.
The hungry people we help with these small gifts of food include homeless people, or people in crisis, who appear either on Sunday or, more often, through the week.
They also include those asylum seekers who have no legal claim in the system and who have then to rely on Red Cross food parcels. Such people no longer qualify for the limited state help that is given to those within the system and, of course, aren’t allowed to work. They live with friends, find help from the Boaz Trust or various churches, or sleep rough as they are not entitled to use homeless shelters. Destitution is actively being used as a tool to “encourage” such people to return home.
A number of the people that we have helped win their refugee status over the years have been in these dreadful circumstances, which shows what a difference good legal advice and a supportive community can make when people hit rock bottom.
We hope now to be able to give more food out to those we know are hungry as well as to those who drop into church seeking help. In order to do this it is really helpful when people continue to donate food on a regular basis.
If, when we shop, we could put a couple of extra items into our shopping each week, bring the items to church and hand them to Andy or the greeter on the door, it will go a long way to preventing others being hungry.
The food should be non-perishable and have a very long shelf life. For example:
- tinned meat and fish,
- packets of rice or pasta,
- baked beans,
- tinned vegetables
- instant mashed potato
- tinned puddings
- tinned fruit
Own-brand and economy versions of these items can be quite inexpensive but can really help people to make their meagre resources stretch for a few more days.
Jesus told us that at the Last Judgement we will recognise that a key facet of our spiritual life was how we cared for the poor, gave drink to the thirsty, fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited the imprisoned. The foodbank at church is a small way in which we can make a practical difference to the lives of others.
Anyone in need of a small gift of food from the foodbank is invited to speak privately to Andy so that they can be included in the scheme.