Posted by: mikebackup | February 28, 2014

Foodbank newsletter March 2014

One year on and 1500 food bags later – Our project is providing a real hand up and wants to do more

On the afternoon we held our first foodbank annual review two people received an emergency food bag who had not eaten for three days. As the End Hunger Fast campaign is trying to show, the reasons are varied why many have to choose whether to eat or heat.

Over the past year our foodbank has grown steadily and given out approximately 1500 bags of food to local people. This has been possible due to a unique and inspiring partnership between the local churches and support agencies. On the church side, Boulton Lane Baptist, Alvaston Baptist, Alvaston Methodist, St Michael and All Angels, Boulton St Marys, St Osmunds, St Edmunds and Broadway Baptist all contribute food to the bank. On the support agency side the local Health Visiting Team, the Social Care Team, Family Intervention Project, Priority Families, Team Parents, Multi Agency Team, Community Support Worker and the Education Welfare Officer all provide referrals into the food bank for the people they are supporting. Together we are living the philosophy of a hand up not a hand out.

As we head into our second year we want that philosophy to include other areas of support. From a Christian perspective Jesus calls us to share his abundant life. That abundance comes through whole life support which can be very practical blessings at times. One potential way is to deliver the Christians Against Poverty money budgeting course. It is a course aimed at anyone who would like a firm grip on their finances and is particularly helpful for those that don’t find personal finances easy. It also provides exclusive resources that when completed allow anyone who cannot balance their finances access to CAP’s debt counselling service. Another area we will expand on is to sign post people to the various groups the churches run from coffee mornings to computer courses to knitting clubs. These can provide blessings to those that need to talk, have a break or increase their skills.

The issues of foodbanks, poverty and benefits have entered the mainstream of public consciousness but so often a hugely judgemental attitude accompanies any discussion about them. We are hoping that our project as it matures and expands will do its part in dispelling myths and judgements in favour of a real sense of wanting to love your neighbour as yourself.

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