Foodbanks nationally have been overwhelmed over the last eleven months. As people have either lost their jobs or been on reduced pay, many have found putting a regular meal on the table to be impossible. It's difficult to imagine having to make a decision about who will eat that day or what comes first: the electricity meter or food. That's the reality though.
At St Luke's, we know of local people in this position; behind their closed doors, that is what they face, often unbeknown to their neighbours.
St Luke's supports the local foodbank, with gifts of provisions being taken there by volunteers for distribution to those in need.
In normal times, the collection point would be inside the church, which was always open from morning to late afternoon. Under Covid-19, that has not been possible. Now we are going to open up the church porch on Thursdays between around 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The collection boxes will be placed in the porch and we hope that you will find it in your heart to fill them with provisions. After 4 p.m., the collection boxes will be locked away to allow a safe period to pass, before being taken to the local foodbank.
Foodbanks give out all manner of goods, since it is not food alone that people are deprived of. Sometimes we take for granted the "obvious", like soap, washing detergent, washing-up liquid, toilet rolls, sanitary goods, toothpaste, bleach and toothbrushes. These basic items are what allow people to give themselves and their loved ones an existence. Foodbanks give out such products as well as offering long-life or unperishable foodstuffs.
You don't have to be a Christian to want to help people. Virtually everyone knows the story of the Good Samaritan; this is your chance to "cross the road and help the suffering stranger on the other side". We pray that the collection boxes are filled with gifts every week and that the scourge of poverty in our country can be ended forever. Amen.