FOOD SHARE & COMMUNITY MEAL
Food Share - a family meal for the those who collect food parcels from Church on a Sunday
The Foodshare meal is a regular part of St Aidan’s ministry to work with the hungry and homeless. Since January 2014, the Foodshare team have been cooking Sunday lunches to serve to the individuals and families that use our food parcel scheme.
These meals take place every six to eight weeks, feeding, on average, 60-70 people. Tasty lunches are prepared by the team made up of volunteers from the Friends of St Aidan’s and Bankside Primary school. Bankside School also raises funds to support the work of the team and to ensure that everybody enjoys a lovely hot lunch, with plenty leftover to takeaway.
Food Bags on Sundays at St. Aidan’s
For many years carrier bags containing tins and occasionally other non-perishable foods have been issued, free, to those in need who approach our Church.Each carrier bag issued contains five tins: one cooked meat product (usually a vegetarian equivalent is available as a substitute), one tin of potatoes, one of peas or other vegetable, one tin of baked beans and a fifth tin of either soup or pasta in tomato sauce. This distribution is an essential lifeline for all those who slip through the “safety nets” of society.It is basic: offering, at most, one day’s relief from hunger for, for example, a single childless person and, proportionately, less so for a larger household.
The Church of England has called on all parish Churches to bear the five marks of mission. One of these is to challenge unjust structures of society. Our Sunday food visitors are victims of an un-just society and it is the job of all Church members to oppose injustice. We share the little food we have through giving out the carrier bags (and also through our six weekly Sunday Food Share meals) with love, care and compassion. We do so in the name of God’s justice and mercy.
St. Aidan’s mission statement says “we aim to be a worshipping, serving sacrificing community following the example of Jesus Christ”. The giving out of food parcels is clearly an example of serving and sacrificing, but it is rooted in worship.
It is significant that the food bags are given out in the Chapel on Sundays (where the Real Presence of Christ reposes in the Tabernacle), following the Parish Mass. That is to say that a self less giving of ourselves toward the sustenance of others is a reflection of Christ’s own self giving in Communion.
Many of our Sunday visitors come and participate in the service and some collect their food bag and leave the Church just as quickly . However, at the end of service, many sit and chat with volunteers, the priest to pray and light candles. A number of food bag recipients have proceeded to come to faith and join our Church. Several have become food bag volunteers and helpers.
We desperately need more donations of food.
It is getting harder for to collect enough food together for each Sunday’s session. Most of us at St. Aidan’s could give just a little from our weeks shopping.
Please contact Tony Jowitt or Steve Marshall If you can help in any way.