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FaithInFoodbanksFaith in Foodbanks?

In the last couple of years we have witnessed the emergence and rapid growth of foodbanks across our nation in which local churches and congregations often play a key role.  Through foodbanks, Christians are able to express key Gospel values and declare something of the faith that defines us.  In real and practical ways we are sharing our bread with one another, welcoming the stranger, loving our neighbour and acting as stewards of God’s creation and provision.  But as we reach into the lives of fellow human beings and share our stories, significant questions begin to emerge:
  • Why is it that we are one of the wealthiest nations in the world, yet increasing numbers of people are reliant on foodbanks to sustain their families?  
  • How is it that some key producers of food struggle to maintain a livelihood while some food retailers and distributors announce enormous profits?  
  • Is it right that something which began as a way of providing an ‘occasional stop-gap in an emergency’ is becoming more of an ongoing necessity for some?   
  • Are foodbanks, and churches, becoming unofficially part of the welfare state?

The complete Faith in Foodbanks? resource offers congregations the opportunity to reflect on what the Bible teaches us about food and how it is shared, to consider issues of justice and how God might be calling us to respond.  It includes the following three sections:
  • Signs of the Times? - six  Bible study guides for use with small groups that seek to connect the ministry of foodbanks and the underlying issues of food justice with our Christian faith and identity.
  • Worship Ideas - This can be used alongside the study series or as a stand-alone resource, offering various ideas for a service with a focus on the ministry of foodbanks.  This could be used for a harvest festival or for a special ‘Foodbank Sunday’.
  • Resources for Churches - A resource that explores in more detail the underlying issues and concerns around the need for foodbanks. This highlights the significant growth in the need for foodbanks, and suggests ways for Christians to be more involved in addressing issues of poverty and justice.

There are additional resources available for download from the Joint Public Issues Team website.
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