The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich churches unite to help feed poor

FoodPastorsA group of Norwich churches have united to help provide food parcels for poorer families in the south of the city as the credit crunch continues to bite.

The congregations at six churches throughout Norwich have been compelled to help after hearing reports of families struggling to make ends meet as the current financial crisis continues to hit the country and Christmas draws closer.

And now they are working with schools, police, wardens and community centres to track down those in need and help them out as part of the Harvest-to-Christmas appeal.

The scheme, which has been pioneered by street pastors at the New Hope Christian Centre, sees donations of non-perishable food redistributed to the needy households in Lakenham and Tuckswood.

Traditionally the Martineau Lane-based centre collects food at this time of year to redistribute it to poorer countries, but this year they realised the struggling economic climate meant there was a genuine need for help around Norwich.

Duane Elkins, a church leader at the New Hope Christian Centre, said: “We look out for the needy in the community, and because of the things we have seen in the community along with the credit crunch we tossed out the idea what if we collect tins at Christmas time.

“We asked all the churches if they would like to participate and they all said the wanted to. We did our first delivery last week and it went rather well.

“We not trying to do anything other then bless the community and make sure everything goes well during these desperate financial times.”

The other churches who are collecting food are St John's, St Paul's St Mark's, St Alban's and the Ipswich Road United Reformed Church.

They are working with various sources throughout the community to best identify households who may be in need of a little extra help.

Representatives from the Cavell School, the East City Children's Centre, the Lakenham and Tuckswood Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Lakenham neighbourhood wardens are all working together with the New Hope Christian Centre as part of the project.

Carol Preston, a street pastor at the New Hope Christian Centre and representative at the Ipswich Road Reformed Church, added:

“I think there's a very long history of churches doing everything they can to help the community. It is going to be a very difficult time for vulnerable people across the community and it's always the poorest people who suffer the most in the situations.

“This is a small thing we can do that will help people, a small action that can make a big difference.”

To donate food to the Harvest-to-Christmas appeal, get in touch with the New Hope Christian Centre on 01603 617905.

Article and picture courtesy of www.eveningnews24.co.uk

., 15/10/2008

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