Tuesday, 23 December 2014

CHESTERFIELD FOOD BANK UPDATE

 Happy Christmas!

Happy New Year from all at the Chesterfield Food Bank!

We have been so blessed and blown away by the hard work, generosity and faithfulness of all our volunteers throughout the year.  Having fed nearly 3,000 people over the last 18 months we know that there are more individuals facing a better Christmas and perhaps a stronger future. Not only have we fed these people, but we have seen people moved into new homes with furniture, electrical items, etc. through other generous donations.

As finances are still biting hard in society we continue to see a need for our services, let’s go on together in the next year to provide food for those who are worse off than we are.

God bless you and your families and may 2015 be a more prosperous year for all.

For more Trussell Trust information and latest News see:
http://www.trusselltrust.org

 
Word from our Coordinator
 
Wow, what a year! I began a fledgling project coordinator, newly married and enthusiastic for the project; I've ended it a slightly less fledgling project coordinator, a little less newly married, even more enthusiastic for the project and - by the time you read this newsletter - a very new
father. It's Christmas and so my mental theme for the whole month has been generosity; this is as a result of the immense amount of donations we received at Tesco and the continued pouring in of food from schools, churches, businesses and individuals. It's been quite incredible to see and not just a little overwhelming (w/b 12/12/14 I received around 30 requests for drop off points from individuals, businesses and churches!).

Unfortunately this has become overshadowed by problems and setbacks. Some ill health, struggling to find 'lifters and shifters' for Fridays and most recently a major fire putting The Gates out of action for a few weeks have created greater stresses on top of an already stressful period! Just a few minutes ago, my son Levi brought me a mug of coffee. This reminded me of something: love changes everything. This is our gift to Chesterfield as a Foodbank, we do this for love. Love for God, love for
our community and love for each and every person who walks through our doors in desperate circumstances. God is love, and through Him we are more than conquerors. We can beat the stress, the setbacks and continue to forge new paths.

As I prepare for the imminent birth of my daughter I continue to pray for each and every volunteer, donor and client. Each of you mean so much to me it is difficult to express it in words. Take some time over Christmas to reflect on the Foodbank. Remind yourself why you decided to volunteer, donate or support in the first place. I would suggest that there is a common thread with everyone's reasons:

love.

Merry Christmas,

Ben


PS as we go to press Ben & Kelly have a baby daughter Eva Rosalie Martin born at 14:01 Monday 22nd December weighing 6.3 pounds!



Fire at The Gates
 
Unfortunately in the first week of December, an overnight fire in the Soulville Steak House broke out underneath The Gates church, home also to our Tuesday Food bank. Greasy soot covers everything and the insurance can only come in the new year so we aren't able to dispose of anything (we don't have the manpower, cleaning tools or the skip!). They need to defog the building too and that can't happen till the new year. Thanks to volunteers, the understanding agencies and the offering of
Church in The Peak we have managed to continue feeding people on a Tuesday.

Brimington in the New Year


We expand in January with the opening of a third Food bank in Brimington. Due to the call from local agencies and their clients we will be training volunteers and starting to feed people very soon.

Tesco National Food Collection November
 
A big thank you to all the volunteers who spent time between Thurs 27th and Sat 29th Novemvber handing out leaflets in Tesco and receiveing the gifts from the generous members of the public.  We received 3085 kilos (approx 3 tons) of food to stock up our warehouse.  Three individuals bought us a full trolley load of food.  One lady had spent over £170 and didn't want to be thanked so asked a member of staff to bring the trolley to us!
 
We received single gifts and bags of food items, some people saying we had either fed them or a relative in the last year.  It's good to see out work is being appreciated.

Going the extra mile
 
A friend of Tim Rourke asked what we required recently, he was told amongst other things, juice and milk were needed urgently.  What we received was a car full of these items.  Two boxes of Advent Calendars were brought into a food bank along with other goodies by a mum and her daughter.
Selection boxes donated to us will still be distributed after Christmas to individuals and agencies.
A freezer, suite of furniture, blankets, towels offered to us have found homes through our agencies. Because we don’t have warehouse space we pass the information on and see the gifts finding new homes.

Christmas


We are still opening to provide food over the Christmas period in both food banks if agencies and
their clients require it. Loundsley Green will open on Boxing Day, staffed by willing volunteers.

Children’s Christmas presents


The Gates will be distributing Christmas Presents to the children of those families who have had to leave their possessions behind. For fairness it was decided to buy the presents of similar kind rather than ask for items.
The Operation Christmas Child Warehouse has given us four boxes of cuddly toys ( too big to fit
into shoeboxes). These will be distributed to children in need over
Christmas.