Churches Together in St Ives (CTSI) voted unanimously at its recent AGM to approve a proposal put forward by All Saints Parish Church to support an invitation to have a Food Bank in St Ives.
This will initially be based at the Parish Church and for the first six months will function as a satellite to the successful initiative started by Godmanchester Baptist Church, who have all too sadly proved the great demand for this sort of facility.
A Food Bank is a place where people who have fallen on hard times can come to collect a few days’ worth of food rations to help them when they are most in need.
Everyday people in Cambridgeshire, including St. Ives, go hungry because their circumstances become so challenging that they cannot afford the cost of living.
The Food Bank provides food packages of basic items such a tea, coffee, cereal, tinned fruit, vegetables, soup and dried pasta to keep someone going for up to three days whilst they seek help. A full list of what is, or is not, required can be found on our website (see the bottom of this page).
Local agencies such as the benefit services as well as participating healthcare professionals and other approved charities can issue vouchers to those in need. These can then be taken to a local Food Bank, however until now the nearest Food Bank has been in Godmanchester at the Baptist Church. Last year they issued 400 packages with people travelling from Huntingdon, St. Ives and St. Neots to collect food to meet their basic needs. This year they are currently on target to exceed 10,000 kilos of donated food, which shows how the demand is growing.
All Saints Parish Church has recruited a team of volunteers to work with Godmanchester who will prepare the rations to enable people from St. Ives to collect food packages using their vouchers from All Saints Church and save the cost of travel to Godmanchester.
Carol Dennis, Lead Volunteer for the St. Ives Food Bank at All Saints said, “Sadly, more and more people need to use food banks each year. This is a wonderful way for Christians in St Ives to actively support the most vulnerable in its local community. The church’s role is to support those in need and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
All Saints Parish Church on Church Street will open for “Open House” sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:30am – 12:00pm so that people may come with their vouchers to collect their food packages starting on Tuesday 8th October.
Carol Dennis said, “When people are down it is a relief to know that they have somewhere to go not just to collect some basic provisions but to talk to someone about their problems. At our Open House sessions the kettle will always be on and we will gladly lend an ear and offer a cup of tea to those who need it”.
The church is open to more support from local volunteers wanting to help with Open House sessions.
For more information contact Carol Dennis on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at the Parish Office (Tel: 01480 384334), or visit new.stivesparishchurch.org.uk/foodbank to find details of what foodstuffs are needed.