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This Week at St Mary’s

Supporting the Meadows Foodbank

Beth Mitchell writes:

The Meadows Foodbank has been supported by our congregation for some time – some people have  a monthly standing order; some people give me cash from time to time. I usually top this up a bit and do a monthly Foodbank shop. It’s always a pleasure to deliver food and other household items with a note saying it’s come from all of us at St Mary’s, and to meet the volunteers and thank them for all that they do. 

The Foodbank is based at the Bridgeway Centre in the Meadows where several services are available:

∙ “Sunday Supper” – a free 3 course meal every Sunday evening which is free to all.

∙ “Cosy Café” – on Tuesday mornings when people can enjoy a warm space, have a drink, and maybe have a go at some crafts.

∙ As the largest and busiest of the Trussell Trust Foodbank in Nottingham, it has 3 sessions a week providing food parcels to those in absolute crisis.

∙ Meadows Pantry – since September 2023, local people who are previous Foodbank guests pay £5 each time to shop and choose for themselves a range of products. This provides a step up from the main Foodbank as well as being a safety net for people who might otherwise become Foodbank guests again. Weekly pantry sessions aim to alleviate food poverty offering choice, dignity and hope. The Thursday morning sessions also offer snacks, drinks and the chance to meet others.

The summer holidays are looming when the Foodbank will experience a spike in demand. About half its users have young families. School holidays are a time of increased financial pressure when free school breakfasts and lunches aren’t available. The Foodbank particularly needs packs of cereal, peanut butter, pasta sauce and tinned fruit to help young families cope over the summer holidays. This year also sees the end of the government Household Support Fund grants to councils. As a result, demands on Foodbank services are increasing – but the general toll of inflation has led to a drop in public donations.

Many people find shopping and then bringing goods into church a bit much. A more practical and lasting form of support is setting up a very small monthly standing order – I’d be happy to supply the bank details – or else simply giving me a few pounds on an occasional basis. If 10 people from the congregation set up standing orders for £5 per month – or if 10 people each month gave me £5 towards my monthly Foodbank shop on behalf of the church, this would make a huge difference.

Supporting the Foodbank is not about going home and fishing out a few unused dusty tins from the back of a cupboard. It’s about a regular commitment to helping to feed the most needy in our community and their children. It is an action central to the gospel message. It is a demonstration of God’s love in practice.

Will you help – please? 

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