A big welcome back to all students, old and new, returning to the busy world of University life!
Fresher's week, or Welcome week, is a big time in the year as a whole host of groups and societies vie for the attention of students, especially Freshers. We hope that what we are doing can gain some student's attention.
Manchester Central Foodbank is based in the Manchester Universities' Catholic Chaplaincy (MUSCC), next to the Church of the Holy Name. The Chaplaincy serves all three universities on Oxford Road and is open to all students new and old. The foodbank is part of the Trussull Trust foodbank network and will be the first Student-run foodbank in the UK. We provide emergency food relief for local people in crisis who are referred to us by frontline care professionals.
We need enthusiastic students who are willing to give up a few hours of their week in order to volunteer for the foodbank. We plan to open our doors to clients October 2nd and our volunteers will need to be trained by the Trussell Trust prior to this date. There is a wide variety of volunteering oppurtunities, including greeting clients, food sorting, fundraising and publicity. If you are at all interested come along to the Chaplaincy at any time during Fresher's week to find out more. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we are setting up our Foodbank it is clear what a great potential there is for building up Civic Society. Different institutions, religious and secular, can become involved in either as food-collection areas, or as referral agencies. The Trussel Trust who we are registered with, run the largest network of foodbanks in the UK are a Christian Charity but realise that 'food poverty' is not limited to one religion or another, and similarly that it is working with different faith groups tha provides the best and most trusted network.
Their vision is based on words of Jesus as recorded the Gospel of Matthew. 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36. This comes from a vision of a last judgement, when we will all be accountable for our actions, particularly to those who are most vulnerable and needy. We show our love through actions more than words..... So get involved, we need 1) prayers 2) volunteers and 3) money. Contact us through this blog - or privately through @foodbank_muscc.
Fr T B SJ
This, we believe, will be the first student-run foodbank in the country. There is a pressing need for this service in the local area, with, for example, 47% of children living below the poverty line in Central Manchester. This is one of the highest rates in the UK.
Seeded by ‘The Trussell Trust’, the UK’s largest Foodbank network, we will be providing three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable emergency food parcels to individuals and families who have been referred to us by local frontline services. In addition to our emergency food and supplies services, there will also be the opportunity of hot food and refreshment, and a friendly chat in a warm and relaxed environment.
We are still in the early stages of setting up this foodbank and we hope to be able to serve clients by the beginning of October.