“Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need . . . ” (Matt 6:9-11)
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Pollok Baptist Church had a weekly free cafe and foodbank for local people. Relationships had been built in particular with Waitrose and Tesco, and we were able to serve some of the most vulnerable folks in our neighbourhood.
As concerns around COVID-19 grew, so did the anxiety that most of the population – which led to some of the most bizarre panic buying I think the nation has ever seen. (Toilet rolls?!) The harsh reality of this hysteria led to empty shelves and left some of the most vulnerable people even more vulnerable. When the lockdown was announced on the 23rd March, I remember thinking “Now the supermarkets can breath again”
And breath they did! But what about those who now found themselves shielded or quarantined? What about those who were already struggling or those newly unemployed who found a 5 week wait for Universal Credit with no savings to fall back on? What about those who felt totally overwhelmed and unable to get out?
The links that the church had built with the health centre, social work, housing associations the supermarkets were just about to become a vital source of support for the greater G53 area.
The cafe closed, the foodbank switched from a “collect a bag of food” on a Tuesday, to home deliveries (from referral only) twice a week – Tuesday and Friday.
It was obvious very quickly that demand was far outstripping our ability to supply, and so several applications were made to some of the COVID-19 response funds.
The response has been beyond anything we could have imagined: finance, food donations, volunteer support – collecting food, sorting it, packing bags and delivering to people’s home.
We are now delivering to over 90 homes and feed around 400 people per week during this crisis.
And so a huge thanks to:
SWAMP Community Development Trust
And to everyone who has donated food, toiletries, disposable gloves, bags, time – anything that has made our food delivery project possible during this unprecedented time. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Through all of you, we can truly say that God has provided all that we need to serve those in greatest need right now.
“Thank you so much for the food you gave me last week, every single thing in the bag was what I needed” *Irene, G53.
*not real name