15 February 2018
The vine and the branches
Another year has passed and the C.I.A. Food-bank continues to grow and expand services to support and help people and families at various points of crisis in their lives.
New challenges have been presented and of course so too have the opportunities to resource and meet those challenges. I just love it when David reminds us that God will not give us the job without the resources. I have seen and experienced many things this year but above all, His hand of direction at work within the Food-bank has been uppermost in my mind. How could it not be! From the selfless people He brings forward to fulfil the many tasks of service, to the people moved to provide donations of food, money, clothes and items that others in our community are needful of. The generosity of people and children both in and out-with the church family has been nothing short of overwhelming.
New figures from the C.A.P.C. (Child Action Poverty Group Oct 2014) show South Ayrshire child poverty running at 24%, East Ayrshire at 26% and North Ayrshire at 27%. Families are struggling.
In 2014, the C.I.A. Food-bank was able to assist 754 people/families in need of basic food and hygiene items. Providing three meals a day for a minimum of 3 days, equates to provision of approximately 6,786 meals. Specially requested food is included where necessary e.g. children/vegetarians/religious beliefs/street homeless persons. When requested, we were also able to provide a top up for fuel cards with only a few pence remaining on their value, thus enabling food to be heated. Similarly, when asked for clothing, or hygiene packs, we were able to meet these requests as well.
Very often additional needs are only revealed when the CIA team is in conversation with the referred person. Through the grace of God, the Project has been able to meet every request for help, whether it was food, fuel, clothing, hygiene or Christmas tree baubles!
(For more detailed info about referrers and provision download a pdf here)
Volunteers are of course the backbone of any project. The CIA Volunteers all bring their own unique individual strengths and attributes to the variety of tasks they perform. Although differing in some respects, they all share one thing in common – compassion for others. It is vitally important that our C.I.A. volunteers are compassionate and can treat everyone with respect, no matter what situation they find themselves in. It can be very stressful for the people who find themselves in crisis and in need of the emergency services we provide. A volunteer’s words and actions can go a long way in helping a person keep their dignity. We are truly blessed by so many fantastic volunteers that give selflessly of themselves to assist in the work of the C.I.A. We give gracious thanks and praise for all of them and all they do.
Sadly, we recently lost two of our long standing Volunteers when they moved to another church. However, the void left was immediately filled by a new team from St. James Parish Church led by Moira and Sheila. They hit the ground running and we know that they intend to play a full part in the C.I.A. Project.
Monkton Primary School
Being able to make a direct difference in someone’s life by a small act of kindness is a great privilege. Children very often show us the way in this because they expect nothing in return. We recently witnessed this by an out-pouring of Christmas presents for other children from the children at the Monkton Primary Nursery. Each gift bore the name of the person giving and the age and sex for whom it was intended. This was a wonderful initiative and we have invited Rachel Reid and the nursery class to pay us a visit and see what goes on in a community Food-bank. We are all looking forward to that.
The C.I.A. Team have also enjoyed the most amazing support through the past year from Sainsburys in Prestwick. Support for local community objectives and the generosity of Management and staff has enabled us to move forward in areas we never anticipated. Whether that has enabled us to fund raise by way of a bag pack, or floor space given for a ‘hygiene kit’ collection or clothing and household collections from Sainsbury’s staff, we are extremely grateful to those who gave so willingly and to those who organised these events. Most recently, we received four trolley loads of Christmas presents for children of varying ages. They were beautifully wrapped. We give thanks and ask Gods richest blessings on all the people who gave and all the people who received.
Thank you to the Elba gardens Hostel team who forewent their Secret Santa gift to each other in favour of giving the funds directly to the C.I.A.
Thank you to the Blue Triangle Hostel team who collected and brought food to the MPN Church Halls. Always appreciative of what is received by the hostel residents – they simply wanted to do the same for others.
Thank you to the Arrol Park Disability Team who paid £1 to children in Need and used the opportunity to ask staff to bring a tin of food for the C.I.A. at the same time
We have been truly humbled by the support which has been offered to the C.I.A. from the church family, partner churches, local businesses, schools and personal individuals. We graciously accept your gifts and say a huge “thank you” on behalf of the people/families who will be referred in crisis to the CIA emergency Food-bank in the coming weeks and months.
We do not yet know how the next year will unfold for the C.I.A. The one thing we are sure about is that through the grace of God, we will be able to meet any and all challenges that come our way.
Much of this script has been about giving thanks for the people involved in and out-with with the Food-bank. It seems therefore appropriate that the last words should reflect a Volunteers perspective.
“Eric and I joined the team to help with the food-bank delivery. We believed it would help those in need, but were not altogether prepared for the great need of those whose names were put forward for help with food.”
“It has been a privilege to help on a rota basis, thankful for the bounty in the store cupboard due to the generosity of all the churches who help in giving to others”.
“We are only the messengers”.
“We have been blessed and hope and pray that this is passed on to those in need”.
Eric and Patricia Lindsey – Kingcase Parish Church.
The CIA Foodbank is a Registered Charity:
Christ In Action SC045322
C/O Church Office, 10 Monkton Road, Prestwick, KA9 1AR
Copyright © Monkton and Prestwick North Parish Church of Scotland. Scottish
Charity No. SC004271