Dear fellow Luton Christians,
On behalf of Luton Foodbank can I encourage you to support our “Reverse Advent Calendar” campaign. (1)
You may have already heard about this several times, but I’m afraid we couldn’t take the risk you had not. Claim on the Foodbank have been rising steadily over the past six months, and we have been distributing well over 200 food parcels a week for most of that time. This week we are on course for over 250 parcels. There is more food on our shelves than ever before, but there is more moving off them than ever before. The impact of Universal Credit, which arrived in Luton in October, is already leading to more people needing help as they wait up to six weeks standardly, and sometimes longer, without any benefit. It is still the case that 85% of our beneficiaries only claim once or twice, and most of the rest claim no more than five times for very genuine reasons. With the pressures on us just now you can be assured that we are doing all we can to eliminate abuse.
I’d like to encourage you therefore to use our Advent campaign as creatively as you can in your churches, childrens groups etc and among all you know. Some years ago we made an effort to collect together a Christmas extra bag for clients in the two weeks before Christmas, but the past years the regular needs have been so pressing we have focused on our regular food needs. The Advent/ Christmas campaign, alongside Harvest and the yearly Ramadan campaign among our Muslim friends, are our main food raising campaigns.
At every level of our work, we seek to mobilise the giving and volunteering of the whole community to serve the needs of the whole community. Its a great charity to serve with. We are in need of more volunteers to help with collecting food, work in the warehouse and office, and at distribution centres. Do be in touch if you can help.
Finally, the board and management team have asked me to pass on to you and the Churches of Luton our thanks for all your support for us.
Have a good Advent Season and a good Christmas!
St Marys Church
- If you or your church do have a Advent collection, it would really help us if you could hold on to it for a week or two and bring it to the warehouse, or contact us for collection, in mid January. While we need the food our shelves really are full, and by then they will be emptying a little after the main campaign is done!