We gave food to 73 adults and 84 children. One woman was so grateful saying: “At least my children will not be hungry this Christmas, but it is no fun giving them beans on toast on Christmas morning.” This phrase has stayed with me. We did manage to give everyone some treats of chocolate, mince pies and Christmas pudding. Others were depressed which was caused by the social and media pressure they come under to buy Christmas presents. I am aware that the true meaning of Christmas has been largely lost but it does not change how many of our clients feel.
I have asked you for food and you have responded magnificently, I have asked you for money to pay our rent and you have responded magnificently, please can you continue with these contributions. Please may I ask you something else? During the month of February can you please specifically remember the foodbank in your prayers each and every day.
In his Christmas day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Archbishop Justin referred to the misery and want faced by many. Archbishop Justin said: “We see injustice at home. Even in a recovering economy, Christians, the servants of a vulnerable and poor saviour need to act to serve and love the poor: they need also to challenge the causes of poverty. Our response is not political but delivered in hope. The action of the Churches in the past five years is extraordinary, reaching out in ways not seen since 1945. Yet no society can be content where misery and want exist, through our love collectively we also challenge the greed and selfishness behind it.”
These are strong word from Archbishop Justin and I am aware that some of it is directed towards the pay day loan companies. One of our volunteers was in tears after listening to one of our clients who had taken out one of these loans to buys presents for her children at Christmas. Perhaps she acted unwisely, but we have to consider the pressures that came to bear and she is our sister in Christ. Please pray for her.
In conclusion, I thank each and every one of you for your contributions. Please continue to support the foodbank with your donations and your specific prayers during February.
Jesus said “When I was hungry you gave me food.”