Across the United Kingdom, in towns, cities and rural communities, there has emerged a rapidly growing network of foodbanks. Some are relatively small “community larders” while others operate on an almost industrial scale. Local churches and congregations have often played a key role in their establishment.
Why is it that we are one of the wealthiest nations in the world, yet an increasing number of our population are reliant on foodbanks to sustain their families? How is it that some of our key producers of food struggle to maintain a basic livelihood while some food retailers and distributors announce enormous profits? Is it right that something which began as a way of providing an “occasional stop-gap in an emergency” is becoming more of an ongoing necessity for some? Are foodbanks, and churches, becoming unofficially part of the welfare state?
Faith in Foodbanks?
“The situation is complex, and few of us will feel equipped to fully engage in the debates that emerge. But we have stories to share, and some of those stories are extremely powerful. When presented with honestly and integrity they have the power to challenge all of us, to change hearts and minds. They most definitely have the power to change the policies and attitudes of those who do have the direct power to make a difference.”
Revd Ruth Gee, President of the Methodist Conference 2013-14
These resources from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and Church Action on Poverty have been put together to help churches explore issues raised by foodbanks, and to make connections between the work of these foodbanks and the life, worship and witness of local churches and fellowships.
The resource is made up of three interconnecting parts:
Faith in Foodbanks? – Why do Christians care about food poverty? Why is the number of foodbanks growing? Fact and Fiction about foodbanks. And ten things you can do with your church.
Signs of the Times? – Six Bible studies to explore the ministry of Foodbanks and what God’s Word might teach us about them.
Worship Ideas – A selection of worship ideas, including a sermon outline, reflections and prayers.
More Resources – The individual sections, along with also a collection of other useful resources including templates, publicity and multimedia.
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