Anna Heydon reminds us that God calls on us to feed the hungry, and that He will generously provide if we do so.
The logo of the Great Yarmouth Food Bank has at its centre a picture of a fish and a loaf of bread. The reference is to the Biblical accounts of Jesus feeding crowds of people (four thousand on one occasion, five thousand on another) from just a few fish and loaves of bread. The choice of logo reminds us that it’s our responsibility and privilege to continue the work of Jesus on earth, including feeding the hungry, and one way to do that is through the Food Bank.
However, God hasn’t left us alone in this work. In the account of the feeding of the five thousand in John’s gospel, God works through the generosity of the boy, the miraculous power of Jesus to multiply the food, and the willingness of the disciples to distribute it.
Liz Townson from the Food Bank outlet at The Well in Gorleston recounted to me a recent example of this in action. One Sunday evening Liz discovered that there were no tins of meat left for the food parcels which needed to go out the next day. Meat tins are a core component of the food parcels, with several tins going into each bag. With no time to put out a public plea, Liz took her concern to God instead.
The next day Liz arrived at church and was amazed to find several bags of tins of meat waiting outside! But this unusual and unsolicited occurrence wasn’t the end of it. During the day, meat was offered to Liz from three more separate sources, none of whom knew that there was a shortage of it. The Food Bank was able to give out its parcels as normal to those who needed it. I’m told by the Food Bank team across Great Yarmouth and Gorleston that unexpected and spontaneous gifts of food when it is most needed are a frequent occurrence.
Just as when Jesus was on earth, God continues to act through people and in power in order to see His work done. God’s provision and our giving go hand in hand:
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, they share freely and give generously to the poor, their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-9
So please, give generously and joyfully to the Food Bank and to God’s work throughout our area, whilst trusting and praying that God will use what you give and multiply it.
The aim of Great Yarmouth Food Bank is to meet the immediate needs of those referred, to establish the root cause of their crisis and determine how to best help them to resolve these issues. Great Yarmouth Food Bank work in partnership with other agencies and faith groups signposting service users to other support groups.
This article first appeared at: https://imaginenorfolktogether.org.uk
For details of other foodbanks operating in Norfolk and across the UK, visit https://www.trusselltrust.org
Anna Heydon is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth, a joint venture between the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund, a national organisation set up by the Church of England to combat unmet needs in communities.
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