Herewith a brief account of how our local Market Harborough Methodist Church is complementing the work that is being done by our local Churches Together Jubilee Food Bank:
Two families had become aware of how the work of the food bank was escalating even in our comfortably well-off market town and felt we should do something to offer more than simply canned or packeted dry foods to enable a more healthy diet to be available.
This led to us sounding out the possibility of running a trial period for the issuing of vouchers to those who were being referred to the food bank by the local statutory and allied voluntary agencies.
We’re now into the third week of our trial in Market Harborough - and the take up was instantaneous!
Financial underwriting of a 3 month trial with just £50.00 worth of vouchers at £2.50 each saw them all go in the 10 days before Christmas.
A local grocer operates via his shop as the ‘redemption’ centre, with his manager ensuring that special offer goods are brought to clients' attention.
We are now asking churches within our local Churches Together in Harborough to regularly support this scheme via their Benevolent Funds as we expand it to cope with 100 vouchers per month. The responses from the churches and our members may even enable us to grow further in due course.
This may not seem a large scheme to some people, but it indicates quite clearly that the poor are all too readily to be found on our own door-steps.
Has any other church based Food Bank - or any other Food Bank for that matter - started a voucher system for people to gain access to fresh fruit and vegetables?
Through our local Harborough Transitional Development scheme we shall be exploring other possible sources of fresh food-stuffs via Community Garden/Farm schemes that are being considered.
We would be very happy to talk through such a venture with anyone who may be exploring how to bring fresh food, and thus a more healthy dietary offering into their local food bank.