Not long ago I was helping out at our local Foodbank. The Sutton Foodbank is made up of a group of people from local churches in Sutton (surprisingly enough), who have come together to meet the needs of the needy of our community, working in conjunction with local authorities and charities. We provide people with free food, donated to the Foodbank by local residents and churchgoers, for them and their family for three days.
It’s not much, but it’s something. And it does make a difference. On the surface, it’s something that is very much in tune with how Jesus wanted us to live and I’m proud to be involved with it. The vision is amazing, and I completely believe in it.
The thing is, like a lot of things, the reality is often a lot harder.
Recently a woman came in who was homeless. We sorted out the voucher and gave her some food, enough for three days. I sat down and talked to her, and a friend she had made who was in similar circumstances.
I sat there as she told me her story about how she had come to this situation, and about the reality of her homelessness.
Sleeping under trees, on buses, finding spare beds in hospitals.
It became clear we couldn’t just give this person the same food we always gave people. She had no place to cook food, no place to prepare food or make hot drinks.
Above all, she didn’t even have any cutlery or utensils to eat the food we were giving her.
She’d be eating with her hands effectively, unless we gave her something or she found something to eat with. (more…)