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The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton

This month's letter from the clergy

The Foodbank

Dear friends,

For several years we have supported our local foodbanks. Food and other items can be left in any of our churches. They are collected monthly by Clive Norden and taken to the local centres. There are over 400 of these in the UK.

Their value was again brought home to me when seeing the film, “I, Daniel Blake” at a local village film evening. It kept a family going in the darkest of moments.

Non-perishable in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches and business, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted into boxes by over 40,000 volunteers, to be given to people in need. Other household items are also very welcome - soap, washing up cloths, anything you might regularly buy at a supermarket.

You may wonder how the system works. Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, schools and social workers identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. This entitles them to receive a foodbank parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.

Foodbanks also offer a lot more than food and other basic necessities. Volunteers provide a listening ear to clients over a warm drink, and signpost people to other charities and agencies who can help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.

Throughout the Bible God is shown to be a God who has compassion on the poor and needy. Please continue to support our local foodbanks generously.