Christ Church in Braintree, a United Reformed and Methodist congregation, has opened a food bank in the town to help local people in times of crisis. It joins a growing number of food banks opening across the country.
Food banks help families and individuals who find themselves in short-term difficulties by providing an emergency three-day supply of food. The food is collected primarily from shoppers at supermarkets, and is distributed to those in need in exchange for vouchers issued by partner agencies such as local housing services and the Citizens Advice Bureau, all of whom have warmly welcomed the church’s initiative as meeting a real, local need.
Alan Pinnell, a representative from the food bank, said: “Even before we opened, nearly one-and-a-half tonnes of food had been collected (that’s the equivalent to 3,000 tins of baked beans!) and several families had been helped with emergency food supplies. There has been great interest and support from other churches. We hope they will become involved and extend the service.”
Photo caption: from left to right: The Revd John Hardaker, minister of Christ Church; Peter Crow, food bank volunteer; Jess Leonard and Steve Swann, representatives of Sainsbury’s in Braintree; Vivian Salter, a food bank volunteer.