On Sunday (7th Oct) St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Charing had a special visit and talk at the Harvest service from Mark Reece from Ashford Foodbank. Mark gave a moving and compelling account of the vitally important work of the Ashford Foodbank. During the talk he emphasised just how important the contributions of food from local churches and communities are to allow them to meet the real emergency food needs of local people. You may know about the Ashford Foodbank from a previous article we did after Mark talked to the G7Teen youth group earlier this year. In case you don’t, or even if you do, here is more about them and their vital work:
Mark talked to us about a number of different real situations where, through no fault of their own, people just can’t afford to eat, and where the state, and/or other agencies, just cannot respond quickly enough to help. Often a family with children is involved and parents will go without food for days so their children can eat.
Our economic situation is making things difficult for so many people, and Mark shared with us some shocking official statistics about the general background situation in our own parishes. Even in the relatively affluent rural parishes of the G7 Benefice our child poverty averages 13%, and varies from 8% in two parishes to a high of 29%! Pensioner poverty averages 10% and ranges from 6% to 12%, and working age poverty averages 11% and ranges from 6% to 18%. More detailed figures are available through the Church Urban Fund website. With the harsh realities that these figures reflect, a minor domestic issue (Mark gave the real example of a cooker breaking down) can often create a situation that rapidly becomes a food crisis.
So with Ashford Foodbank in place ready to help people in crisis what can we do? It’s simple, what they need is non-perishable food to maintain a supply that can be distributed to those in real need. So we would really urge you to bring what food you can, when you can, and put it in our collection-crates – initially at Charing church or at the Church Barn Re:fresh service on Sunday Mornings from 10:30am – 12.30pm.
Collections may also start at other churches in the Benefice at other times and locations to make it as easy as possible to contribute – watch this space and read the Pew News to see what happens.
So next time you’re at a shop or supermarket shopping for food please, if you can, get one or two extra things from this list. Ashford Foodbank rely on food donations from you and me to feed local people in crisis. So please give in-date non-perishable food to them. Click here to download Ashford Foodbank’s shopping list ready for when you next go shopping.