Sunday October 8 was annual Harvest Sunday in All Saints Church, Belfast, and this year the parish decided to include the South Belfast Foodbank as a major focus of its Harvest celebrations.
Instead of providing the full amount of fresh produce to decorate the church, parishioners were asked to provide a portion of donations as typical food bank material, for example UHT milk, dried and tinned food.
The Harvest celebration was led by the rector, the Rev Trevor Johnston, and Mr Colin Morris, (Crosslinks staff worker) was guest speaker. Colin’s message reminded parishioners of God’s calling upon their daily lives, encouraging them to live lives of service, thus responding to God’s continuing care and provision for all.
As an urban congregation situated in the university area, All Saints’ has many members who have ‘country roots,’ and it as always the church decorations on Harvest Sunday reflected this, in the abundance of local produce, fruit, vegetables, and flowers.
The parishioners, who have been supporting the foodbank over the past year contributed generously to the Harvest effort.
Total donations came to 233.5kg of food almost a quarter of a tonneand enough to completely fill the boot and back seats of a large people carrier. This was very gratefully received, and will be dispensed to needy clients very quickly.
The SouthBelfast Foodbank is a branch of the Trussell Trust, a UK-based charity which has been in existence for approximately 20 years.
The Trussell Trust’s aim is grounded in Jesus’ words in Matt 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”
The South Belfast foodbank has been in existence since October 2014, and has provided more than 64 tonnes of food to clients since then. There are approximately 100 agencies who can refer clients in to the food bank, and there are 16 local churches who partner with the food bank in various ways: offering support, prayer, donations, volunteers, and fundraising. there are three dispensing venues, providing four sessions per week when clients can receive food, and one central warehouse.
More information is available online at: https://southbelfast.foodbank.org.uk/
Report by Dr Niall Collum