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Boost for Peterborough church foodhub

The Foodhub at St Luke’s church in Orton Malborne, Peterborough, has been boosted by the completion of the church extension, giving the team more room to work in and Christmas donations. Organiser Joan Wayland reports.

Since autumn 2021 volunteers at St Luke’s have been providing emergency food each Friday for local families in need. 

Since the completion of the church building work in October, the Foodhub environment is now unrecognisable. The picking and packing now takes place in the church porch.  The Foodhub has its own dedicated cupboard space and our volunteers and visiting families chat, share tea, coffee and biscuits around two large tables in the now spacious new meeting room.  It is often not possible to distinguish between volunteers and visiting families as the laughter and chatter create a very friendly atmosphere. 

A form has been designed to allow our visiting families to select a certain number of items,  so our visiting families have the dignity of choosing what they want and will eat, rather than being given food they neither want nor need.  From visiting other providers of emergency food, the form has been redesigned to help with managing expectations.

Parishioners continue to be generous both with cash and food donations.  A recent ecumenical Advent Carol Service raised over £200 for the Foodhub and Churches Together in the Ortons have agreed to give food donated to their individual parishes to St Luke’s Foodhub. However, with increasing numbers attending the Foodhub more donations of food and money are required to keep the service sustainable.  The Foodhub currently provides essential items to about 20 families per week.

Parents and children at the new Catholic Primary School, St John Henry Newman, kindly collected food by way of thanksgiving at harvest time and operated a “reverse Advent Calendar”; a similar collection of food was arranged at St Luke’s and the generosity of everyone concerned was amazing. 

Due to the kindness of parishioners and other churches in Orton we were able to provide our visiting families with some extra treats over the Christmas period.  We look forward to serving our local families in need during the New Year.

Pictured above at St Luke’s are, left to right, volunteers Judith Williams, Margaret Barker, Fr Jeffrey Downie and Joan Wayland.