We heard from our community policeman that people were stealing food. As Maryhill Parish Church sits in an area of high deprivation, we also knew that even employed folks were running short on food, as an earlier donation of food to the church had seen a big response from both employed and unemployed people.
Two roads appeared—the first was an opportunity to work with a major franchise foodbank that would supply us with tried and true policy, logos, storage facility, accounting, and other solid help.
The second road was one that would lead us to look for other community organisations that believed feeding the needy was as important as we thought it was and build something from scratch. Prayerful consideration lead us down the road less taken, the hard road of developing a community led foodbank starting with absolutely nothing but a desire to help people.
What is more basic to Jesus’ teaching than feeding those in need?
It has been hard, but we have grown together with others in our community and now have eighteen partner organisations and forty-five local volunteers. It’s still hard at times, but Jesus never said it would be easy and we do laugh together as well. I guess my reflection would be that it is important to allow for mistakes and that sometimes the road less taken takes you somewhere new and exciting.
Maryhill Parish Church of Scotland
About the project
Maryhill Parish Church is the founding partner for this new project which serves a huge community of 40,000 people.
With 18 partner groups and already over 40 volunteers the project has unique features:
1) The Foodbank moves to a different location every month giving it a ‘spread’ across the large geographical area and allowing different partners to ‘host’ including churches and community halls.
2) Clients select their own food rather than being given a bag or box as with other foodbanks. It is like shopping with a choice of 3 items from each section.
Careful thought has been given to how best to work in partnership and the project has grown new and exciting community links.