Jottings, Curios and Ramblings

Rector’s Jottings

Dear Friends,

“Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters you did for me”.

These words of Jesus are a call to us all to care for each other, and to have a particular heart and concern for the poorest, however we may define that term.

Jesus calls us to a life of service just like his own. In the same way that we dwell in his heart of love in prayer and worship when we commune with him, in just the same way we find him in the lives of others particularly at a point of need.

One of the ways that our churches in the Hornsey cluster can live out this compassionate service of Jesus in the needs of others is by contributing to Holy Trinity Food Bank, either by offering food or time, or perhaps both.

Holy Trinity Foodbank is the subject of this week’s Jottings this week because it needs our help.

A bit of background…

Holy Trinity Foodbank began as a Trussell Trust foodbank in 2013, running on a Sunday afternoon [1.30 -3.30 pm] staffed by volunteers. In its first full year of life the Foodbank helped 123 adults and 41 children to receive emergency food. By 2015 this had risen to 189 adults and 149 children. In 2016 there were 235 adults served and an equivalent amount of offspring – 1.6 metric tonnes of emergency food, all supplied by donors and administered by volunteers.

In 2015, the Foodbank left the Trussell Trust to become independent but continued the same pattern of operation – with the title HT Foodbank (HT stands for Holy Trinity, but there is no religious affiliation expected of the foodbank, it is merely supported by the church out of goodness of heart).

At this present time the foodbank is witnessing an increase in demand attributable to our being better known but also, most likely, owing to an increase in need.

How does the Foodbank work?

The Foodbank is to be found in Holy Trinity Hall on Stapleton Hall Road between St Aidan’s School and the corner of Granville Road and Stapleton Hall Road, continuing to be open Sundays 1.30 – 3.30 pm.

The food is administered to those who bring a voucher from an agency in the area. Three occasions are allowed per person and this may be extended under special circumstances where appropriate case work has been conducted. The food administered has to be under health and safety auspices. Nearly all of it has to be in tinned or sealed packet form to avoid contamination. All of the food is given away within expiry dates*[see below for details].

Approximately 10kg of food is given, more or less, depending upon the number of dependents and other circumstances. All food donations both in and out are weighed so that we can check none of it goes to anyone other than those for whom it has been intended!

The focus is for moving the person on into better care, hence the purpose of having an agency in the background so that something helpful is put into effect for each person who attends.

Occasionally people come to HT Foodbank without vouchers who are literally starving and we have been able to deal with this sad state of affairs; fortunately this is rare but happens from time to time.

How can you help?

HT Foodbank needs our help through donations of food and of time form people as volunteers:

Donations of food

HT Foodbank is not really equipped to handle cash donations, having no bank account [although could if offered through Holy Trinity Church Treasury]. They receive donations of food [see below*] at main festivals during the year – notably, as one might imagine – Christmas, Easter and Harvest in September.

Whilst churches and local schools are very generous at festival times, the Foodbank has a growing need throughout the year. Food donations can be brought into Hornsey Parish Church where there is a station where it can be left. Donations can also can be received at the Hall at its opening time on Sundays. In some exceptional cases food being donated can be collected.

FOOD DETAILS

  • Tins welcome include fruit, meats, soups, vegetables, fish, pulses, rice puddings, desserts, custard.
  • Packets welcome include long-life milk, sugar, tea, coffee, cereal, pasta, rice, biscuits, chocolate, soups, seasoning.
  • Glassware items welcome include jams and sauces, sometimes honey, cooking oil, olive oil.
  • Non-edible items are welcome and helpful too; these include such as toothpaste, soaps, combs, toothbrushes, household cleaning materials.

(HT Foodbank is unable to store clothing or toys, believing these better distributed elsewhere.)

Donations of time…

It would be really good to increase the number of foodbank volunteers from our church. Numbers have dwindled recently, partly due to the fact that the foodbank was less busy previously, but this is changing fast and so our help is needed.

HT Foodbank are very pleased to meet would-be volunteers whom they take in and apprentice to the tasks. They have a serious approach to safety, safeguarding and health, with no religious or political affiliation.

Praying for the Foodbank and its volunteers

Please remember the Foodbank in your prayers, the donors, the volunteers, and all the people they help.

Jesus said “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters you did for me”.

With the assurance of my prayers,

Fr Bruce