Foodbanks – feeding Scotland’s neediest

~ Ann Carson is our guest blogger this month. Ann is the Co-ordinator of East Dunbartonshire Foodbank. She is married to Robert and has a son and a daughter.  She has been part of Kirkintilloch Baptist Church for about 13 years. Ann was a Physiotherapist in the NHS for 34 years before retiring and has been the coordinator for the Foodbank and part of the staff team for nearly 3 years now.

As we come to Harvest season the Foodbank becomes a busy place.

Local Schools and Churches often collect for us as part of their Harvest celebration s and we are so grateful for this. It starts us into our busiest few months of the year leading up to Christmas, I know it is only September but we always think a few months ahead.

At Harvest time, it is good to perhaps remember countries overseas who may have had a Harvest that has failed and folks unable to feed themselves and their families who will not have a Foodbank to go to.

Practical and Spiritual need

In our work at the Foodbank we see many people who struggle for whatever reason to feed themselves and their families. This may be due to benefit delays or changes but last year the highest users of Trussell Trust Foodbanks were employed people who struggle on occasions.

Although our primary function is to provide food to sustain folks physically, we also keep in mind the spiritual gap that our clients may have in their lives. For some of them perhaps the only way to turn their lives around would be to find a loving, caring and understanding Saviour. We try to show God’s love, mercy and grace in the Foodbank by being welcoming and non-judgmental, providing a cuppa and someone to chat to. As Hebrews 13:6 reminds us: “Do not forget to do good and share.”

Our Foodbank is part of Trussell Trust which is a charity founded on Christian principles and inspired by Matthew 25:35-36: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was in prison and you visited me”

Sometimes we feel all our work bears no fruit or harvest like the farmer, but God calls us to keep helping, keep compassionate and keep sharing the good news of his love and as Galatians 6:9 reminds us; “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Planting seeds

While at the Trussell trust conference this year, we had a session with John Kirby the founder of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and he reminded us that you just never know where your next conversation or encounter might lead. I found this really helpful as sometimes we do get weary and feel there is no harvest spiritually in our work and interaction with people. We should never underestimate the small seed that may have been planted, which God will water, bringing fruit and salvation.

Let the roots of God’s love in your life be entwined with others who need your support.

I read these words in Our Daily Bread a while ago and I keep them in the front of my Diary: “Let the roots of God’s love in your life be entwined with others who need your support.”

God never gives up on us so let us never give up helping and supporting others.