Since I have been working as the Quinton & Oldbury food bank co-ordinator I have believed that it is God’s work and that we have been blessed by the people and churches that have supported us. In fact we have been blessed richly by the donations we have received which have meant that we have been able to feed our clients and had the financial resources to run the food bank.
I must confess at the beginning of the current crisis I got very upset by the panic buying that went on which meant a lot of our donations reduced and then the churches closed reducing them further. We had money to be able to buy stock but there was none to buy – who needed all those tinned tomatoes? As for loo rolls – I found myself going up to some students in Aldi who were discussing buying more loo rolls and telling them that we needed them more for the food bank! I became quite despondent about it all before lockdown and for a while after.
However, God is good, even when we fail to trust in Him. Through the lockdown we have had an amazing outpouring of generosity such that at times it has been overwhelming. This generosity has come in different ways: many more people than we need have volunteered to help; people have made financial donation in lieu of food donations, often giving ‘a bit extra to help’ and the food donations have also started again. Some has come from church members and some from the general public. Many of you who collected for the Lent 40p for 40 days appeal donated extra money. It has also come in imaginative ways, such as one street in Harborne collecting food after discussing it on their WhatsApp group and one person offering to collect and bring it in. A local company which usually donates food to us at Christmas decided to raise money for us now.
So I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to our God who provides so abundantly, often in ways we do not expect. At a time when people are struggling in difficult situations I am so grateful that the food bank can help in practical ways – but only because of the support of others. I am also very grateful for the volunteers who are giving of their time to support our clients.
Week commencing 1st June is National Volunteers week which is a great time to acknowledge all the volunteers at the food bank – but to me that includes everyone who helps in any way: working at the food bank, collecting or delivering food, donating food or money and praying for us and our clients. Food banks would not work without any of you – so thank you to you all!
Quinton & Oldbury Food Bank Co-ordinator