As recent web articles show, this time of the year, traditionally “harvest time”, is wonderfully busy for us. Churches, support groups, organisations and schools send harvest gifts to us, with a stream of cars sometimes arriving all at once, to deliver the harvest to us. After sorting the food by category and date, a task undertaken by our Time For Jesus volunteers, staff and volunteers, including corporate volunteer groups, our food stores are replenished, ready for food parcels to be given out to those in need at any time during the year ahead. Members of our Being There (housing support) team make up food parcels for individuals or families who are experiencing difficult times, due to a whole myriad of factors. Food parcels are made up and then delivered.
But this aspect of Caring For Life’s work is about so much more than giving a food parcel. This is a tremendously practical way of meeting an immediate need. If someone has no income, or drastically reduced income for whatever reason, there is an immediate need for food to sustain life. At Caring For Life we come across situations where people are choosing between heating their home or eating food, and this becomes a dangerous choice when winter sets in. Or we see families in which the parent may be ensuring the child eats, but not eating properly themselves. Not infrequently, we find people with empty cupboards in their kitchen. Some people may have a chronic health problem or be reliant on important medication, and poor nutrition has a very negative impact on their overall physical and mental health.
At Caring For Life we come across situations where people are choosing between heating their home or eating food.
Thus, meeting the need for food is a wonderful way to provide quick, straightforward help. But delivering a food parcel also provides an opportunity for a gentle chat, some human contact, and the chance to see what other help is needed; what can be done to unravel the causes of “food poverty”. Regular food parcels may be needed for some time, whilst a person’s financial situation stabilises and issues are sorted out. Caring For Life is so thankful to be able to provide that regular help when it is needed, and so grateful for the harvest gifts which make this possible, enabling us to provide food.. and so much more .. for those in need. We thank God for the harvest and for the opportunity to share His love in this way.