Dr Eve Poole, associate faculty at Ashridge Business School, writes for EA's Friday Night Theology on the value of foodbanks and makes a strong case to go shop for families and individuals in crisis at Christmas.
Often we have to explain that our Storehouse, a Vineyard church initiative inspired by Ann Watson (wife of the late David Watson), is not a homeless programme, but a hard-pressed programme. For whatever reason people fall on tough times. We feel strongly that ours is not to judge, but to show mercy.
Eve Poole cites that "fewer than 5 per cent of those who use foodbanks are homeless. Most of them are ordinary families with cashflow problems from rising bills, spiralling debt, or delayed benefit payments. Many are suffering from unexpected sickness, bereavement, or unemployment."
As our own church prepares for its second weekend at Waitrose, I would recommend having a quick read of Eve's article and letting the stats soak in.
Meanwhile, if you are not near Sudbury Suffolk, there are plenty of other foodbanks around, not least those that are franchised through the Trussell Trust, so why not get involved?
Let's go serve somebody!