Imaginative food bank initiative for churches to launch at CRE
Churches are being given fresh encouragement to help local families struggling to feed themselves, with a new project launched at CRE (4-5 March).
In the scheme, church members are encouraged to buy a retail hamper from their church for £30 – and another hamper, comprising 15 fully-balanced meals, is donated free to local families in need.
Called Farming Food Bank, the radical new initiative is launched at next week’s Christian Resources Exhibition (NAEC, Stoneleigh Park, nr Coventry 4/5 Mar 2020) by The Giving Stream Limited.
"We have the farm, butchers, chefs, equipment and expertise to produce food," explained Giving Stream’s Colin Kaye. "Churches have congregations and a local feeding programme or plans to launch one. This project links us all together – working as one, in the name of Jesus."
So how does it function?
Giving Stream install a walk-in freezer on church premises at the company’s cost, stocking it with two different products – a retail hamper, which can be bought and a free food hamper, used for donations only. Members of the church are encouraged to purchase retail hampers from the freezer at the end of services and mid-week meetings.
Every time a retail hamper is sold a free meal hamper is donated to the church. The church can then use the free meal hampers to feed people who are hungry within the area it serves.
"We passionately believe it is possible to do good and make money at the same time and if this was a common structure, the world would look a lot different to the way it does today," said Colin.
The two-day CRE Midlands 2020, often dubbed the 'ideal church show', returns to the region for the first time in five years. All floor space was sold with weeks to go and more than 150 charities, missions and church suppliers will display everything from heating systems to evangelistic puppets, lighting to pilgrimages, candles to computers.
A series of 30 practical seminars, given by both regional and national experts, will cover issues of vital concern to an expected 2,500 local church leaders and members.
• CRE Midlands 2020 at Stoneleigh Park, nr Coventry, opening hours:
Wednesday 4 March 10am-5pm
Thursday 5 March, 10am-4.30pm
Book your tickets in advance for as little as £3 and save at least 50 per cent on day‑of‑entry admission. Visit www.creonline.co.uk for more information.