Marlpool URC feeds families with food and love during pandemic

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Marlpool rRuth Filsak of Marlpool URC in Derbyshire explains how feeding families has enabled the congregation to continue Walking the Way of Jesus during these difficult times of pandemic.

Covid 19 arrived, lockdown happened, and we were in shock about the resulting consequences. Members at Marlpool URC were quick to recognise the impact this was going to have to local families. Some parents would have their income either reduced significantly, or end up with no income. Some would also be anxious about going shopping for health reasons, and how do you do your shopping on your own if you are a single parent with children at home 24/7 to home school and care for?

Volunteers soon began to work out what they could do to help, and the church elders agreed with their plans to provide food parcels for local families. This would show care and compassion by supporting the families financially, but also emotionally, in these difficult times.

Families who normally attend the church holiday club were invited to receive a free food parcel, but news of the project soon spread, and others got in touch to ask for help too. The scheme has supported over 120 children so far, and, more recently, older adults in the community have also received assistance.

Rural Action Derbyshire facilitates such projects, along with with Fareshare, who bring boxes of food to the church. The church has also had some funds to subsidise the purchase of food when necessary. The scheme started soon after the beginning of lockdown, initially for three weeks, but it is still running into September!

The food arrives on Wednesdays for the volunteers to sort into bags for each family to collect. This often means over 80 very full bags! People who cannot collect their own food parcel can have it delivered to their home if needed. Safety precautions are in place, especially during this pandemic, for the protection of families, and volunteers.

Prior to distribution, we pray for the families we are helping. Some families no longer need food parcels, while others remain grateful for our help and support. One mother has offered to help with the church garden in gratitude for the regular food parcels. This regular contact with the families has been a real blessing in connecting with the local community and will hopefully have lasting benefits. We give thanks that, despite this difficult time, we can be disciples of Jesus by sharing God’s love and care for people in our community.

What is your church doing to live the life of Jesus today in your community during this pandemic? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

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