18 June 2023
Spotlighting: The Foodbank
What is a Foodbank?
A foodbank is a based in a local community to provide essential food to someone - and individual or family - in acute need. Foodbanks are established in local areas where a need arises, and it will come as no surprise that given the cost of living crisis coupled with the impact and aftermath of the COVID pandemic, foodbanks are present in almost every community across our country. The need for this provision in the sixth largest economy in the world ought to be a source of both shame in our political and economic systems and an inspiration to identify the root causes of social inequality and work to overcome them through the work of social justice, to implement the Church’s social teaching.
Our Partners in the Foodbank
Our principal partners in the foodbank provision are The Trussell Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council. The Trussell Trust is an nongovernmental organisation and a charity which was established in 1997 with the aim of end the need for foodbanks! This may seem curious, given their work to help with foodbank provision.
All of us want to do the foodbanks out of need! By fighting the underlying causes of why people and families would end up in acute need and seek out a foodbank parcel, we would hopefully eradicate the need for foodbanks at all! It is a lofty ambition, but a vision we have in common. I have been incredibly grateful to both the Council and the Trussell Trust for their partnership, training, advice, and on-going
Volunteers at the Sunday Foodbank help in different ways: greeting people as they arrive, serving refreshments, being ready to help pack and sort the food, helping set up and clear away - lots of different roles and responsibilities. It is the simplest of the
three projects in that it is a narrow time frame on Sundays from 2pm-3pm and involves little preparation before and little clearing away following. If you might be interested in volunteering, perhaps call down on Sunday session and see the foodbank in
full swing for yourself. More volunteers always welcome!
VOLUNTEERING: SUNDAY FOODBANK
Vouchers and Emergency Food
Vouchers can only be issued for the foodbank via approved partners. Vouchers are issued to those in need, but contrary to some reports in the press, people cannot become reliant on foodbank provision. Rather, the foodbanks are vigilant to those seeking vouchers and over a threshold, an intervention is made: the Trussell Trust, the Council, and others actively seeking to see what provision can be made to help and assist, to sign-post, to ensure the recipients are in receipt of the benefits they would be entitled to, and so on.
The foodbank simply provides emergency food, that is to get the person or family through the ‘crisis’ they are experiencing: it is about two three days of staple items.
Please pray for all those who are in such distress and difficulty they must access this provision, and for all our volunteers, too.
Undoubtedly, there will be things to learn, fine-tune, and reflect upon after this first month. These points of correction, improvement, and change will help us calibrate the projects to be more efficient and more effective in the delivery of the services we seek to provide. I invite volunteers and parishioners to share any feedback of how things are going so far to help us improve as the social projects become foundational to the future of our parish and orientate all our energies and focus towards all members of our town and community for the years ahead.