St Thomas’s have been supporting the Foodbank
for the last ten years. So what is it all about? How does it work? How
can I support it?
The Foodbank’s main objective is to provide food and basic toiletries
for those who have no one else to turn to for very short-term emergency
support – typically three-days worth. Hopefully after that time
other support mechanisms kick in.
Contributions are placed in a box at the back of the church, or if more
convenient you can drop them in to the church office whenever it is open.
From there the contributions are taken to the Foodbank’s warehouse
where they are checked and sorted. Distribution is through a network of
14 centres across the Black Country. The one for Stourbridge is located
in St Johns URC Church near the bus and rail stations. The centres each
have their own opening times, usually two or three different half-days
each week. It is at the distribution centres that recipients redeem their
vouchers for themselves and their families. The Foodbank works closely
with Citizen Advice Bureau, local housing and social services departments,
Age UK, probation services, churches, etc to ensure the vouchers are issued
to those in need on a consistent and fair basis.
What to contribute? Items that can sit on shelves or in store cupboards
for a few days are excellent such as tinned meat, tinned fish, tinned
vegetables, tinned fruit, noodles, pasta, rice, biscuits, long-life milk
and fruit juice. Basic toiletries includes shampoo, shower gel, soap,
anti-bacterial gel, toothpaste and toilet rolls.
Just because the Foodbank is well established doesn’t mean it doesn’t
need our continued support and prayers. The need for the Foodbank continues
to grow – over the last twelve months the call upon the Foodbank
has grown by 75%! So please remember in your prayers those who contribute
gifts, those who work and volunteer with the Foodbank, and, in particular,
those who have no one else to turn to in an emergency.