Since starting in December 2012, the foodbank has given away more than 700 bags, primarily to those with young children. Vouchers, distributed to those most in need by a local primary school, Sure Start, Social Services, the CAB and other agencies are exchanged for food. The need can often result from delays or changes to welfare benefits, sudden unemployment, mental health issues, and personal tragedies. On at least on one occasion, they understand the food given may have saved someone’s life.
There are collection points for food at local churches and food drives at ASDA. At the food drives (the most recent was attended by the local MP) volunteers from St Paul’s hand out leaflets inviting customers to buy an extra food item to donate. The generosity of customers is often overwhelming, particularly from those that don’t appear to be that wealthy. Recent harvest donations led to a storage problem; that was until a local Baptist Church offered space for the purpose.
The foodbank is run entirely by volunteers. Hugo works as an analyst in the City, but created the time for Naomi and him to run it by going down to a 4-day week. Although this meant a 20% drop in pay, it felt like’s God’s provision when a few months later his salary unexpectedly increased by far more.
Hugo was inspired as an 18 year old when he worked with a missionary in Hong Kong called Jackie Pullinger. He saw God changing the lives of former Triad gangsters and heroin addicts. (He recommended her book Chasing the Dragon.)
Thanks hugo so much for being with us.