St Clement’s, Bournemouth receives £50,000 Government funding to help feed 400 people
The Government recently approved £50,000 to support LOVECHURCH’s food delivery programme for a further 10 weeks. The programme has been distributing over 180 food parcels to 400 people, which equates to 11,000 meals each week.
LOVECHURCH, Bournemouth partnered with the ‘Love Your Neighbour’ campaign to help deliver food parcels to those most in need across Bournemouth, Buscombe, Christchurch and Poole. Each box contains a mixture of fresh fruit, vegetables, and dry items, as well as a letter of encouragement and recipes to make simple nutritious meals. The funding enables the church to continue to purchase, pack and deliver parcels to the most vulnerable and marginalised people in the community.
The ‘Love Your Neighbour’ campaign was created by the Church Revitalisation Trust (CRT) with the HTB Network, Resurgo Trust and many other churches across the UK as an emergency response to the pandemic. The campaign works with its local partners to help people with food deliveries, coping with isolation, providing practical support and activity packs for children.
LOVECHURCH has been running its food delivery project out of St Clement’s, Bournemouth, and is coordinating 60 volunteers who put the food packages together and distribute them around the area. St Clement’s stands in one of the poorest areas within the South West and ranks as one of the most deprived parishes in the country.
Simon Nicholls, Project Coordinator and St Clement’s Curate said: “With the onset of COVID-19 and the existing challenges within the area, hunger and food poverty for families and children fast became a serious concern that needed to be addressed urgently. Part of LOVECHURCH’s mission is to live out our love for God and for one another. It is now more important than ever to enact God’s love for all creation and show that we love and care for our neighbours.”
Together with the funding from the Government and donations from the CRT, the Talbot Trust, and individuals, LOVECHURCH has now raised £100,000 to keep the project running. The project is making a huge difference to families lives, with one saying they have even learnt how to make soup. The project will soon be looking to develop a more long-term solution for families and vulnerable people to ensure the help can be sustained.
Testimonial from a receiver of a food package “My husband and I have watched your church grow into a thriving community and always were intrigued by your name but now...yes… we have got it and feel that it is very aptly named. Keep doing what you do!”
The Right Reverend, Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton said: “These are very difficult times for all of us, but particularly for those who are more vulnerable. We must all do our part to help our communities and find ways to ensure that no one is left behind. It fills me with hope and joy as we find ways to show love for our neighbours and continue to follow God faithfully.”