The Revd Canon Wendy S Robins writes…
In finding out about the Norwood and Brixton Food Bank, the dedication of its volunteers became immediately apparent as they ensured that we had the information that was needed to feature their work in the Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call for this year. I couldn’t help but think that the level of care and concern that they showed for this task was mirrored in all that they did to care for those who used the food bank.
The food bank operates out of St Luke, Norwood, which is where it began nearly a decade ago. Since then, it has also grown to include St Paul, Brixton and Beacon Church, Brixton. It has recently also integrated the stores from the Waterloo and Vauxhall food banks within its newly expanded and fitted-out warehouse. The food is now delivered to those in need because of the pandemic and people are really grateful for all that they receive as this user explains:
“MY OH MY where do I begin… Recently let go from work but told I have earned too much to receive benefits. Only entitled to £95 for another four weeks… devastating. I was offered food bank vouchers and refused due to pride. Lonely, broke and reluctant to turn to family and friends due to shame and pride, I was called by a lovely man from the DWP who advised that the food bank parcels are lovely, delivered and discreet… so I agreed to have a parcel!!! I am ELATED!! I have not smiled this much in weeks!!! Fresh fruit and vegetables, oil, eggs, beans, puddings, nappies and wipes, washing tablets, marshmallows for hot chocolate, pasta rice, broccoli, biscuits, squash, jam, shower gel and SO MUCH MORE!!!! Absolutely everything my children and I needed!! I am very very GRATEFUL eternally!! Thank you so, so, so, so much!! Amazing!! Thank you also to the polite young man who delivered to me!! You are amazing!! Without you I don’t know what I would have done!!”
In the video below you will see Elizabeth Maytom, who founded the food bank and is now the Project Lead there, talking about the work that they do. On Sunday 21 February, the First Sunday of Lent, Elizabeth was presented with the Lancelot Andrewes Medal for godly service and zeal for the Gospel. This medal, which is presented by Bishop Christopher, was given to her by the Archdeacon of Lambeth, The Venerable Simon Gates, on the Bishop’s behalf for her work with the food bank.
The food bank is also a member of the Trussell Trust and you can read about their work here: Journeying Towards Justice.
Please do pray for those who use the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank and continue to pray for those who use the Wandsworth Foodbank and other food banks in the Diocese. You might like to use this prayer for the Lent Call:
we give thanks for all that you have given to us.
We pray for those who are experiencing food insecurity.
in the places featured in the Lent Call and elsewhere.
Help us to show compassion for them.
Give us the will to work with others to help to bring about change.
Help us to show our care and concern for those around us who are in need.
Bring justice and fullness of life to all your people.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Please also consider whether you are able to contribute to the Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call to help with their ongoing work and the work of the other projects which the Lent Call is supporting. Thank you.