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Passion to help vulnerable people sees Rainham Foodbank thrive

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 27 April 2017

Rainham Foodbank volunteers Anna Hinbest, Claire Thompson, Gretchen and pastor Peter Aloysius. Picture: Peter Aloysius

Rainham Foodbank volunteers Anna Hinbest, Claire Thompson, Gretchen and pastor Peter Aloysius. Picture: Peter Aloysius

Peter Aloysius

A voluntary service that was borne out of a sincere passion to see practical needs met within the community continues to go from strength to strength.

Rainham Foodbank supporters on a fundraising mission at a supermarket. Picture: Peter AloysiusRainham Foodbank supporters on a fundraising mission at a supermarket. Picture: Peter Aloysius

In 2011, pastor Peter Aloysius was charged with opening a ministry in Rainham by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, and little did he know how things would pan out.

According to him, an answer that he should “feed” the hungry was received in prayer after visiting people in their homes.

“When the doors were opened, what I saw was isolation, frustration and loneliness,” he said.

“I continued praying and someone put me in touch with the Trussell Trust which shared the same vision to feed people.”

Rainham Foodbank, New Road, Rainham, was born and since its inception, has distributed around 52 tons of food to vulnerable people living in crisis and helped more than 8,000 individuals and families.

“There was one client that needed food and was sent by the Citizens Advice Bureau,” the pastor continues.

“But when we called he said that he only had one pair of trousers and had washed them and could only come when it was dried.

“He had no heating, so it could have taken a couple of days and he would have gone hungry.”

Here to help

Rainham Foodbank, New Road, Rainham opens Monday between 6pm to 7.30pm and Sundays between 9am and 4pm.

The Mother’s Love project, is also open during this time and families can get clothing packs for children from birth up to the age of six.

Men, women, teenagers and children can receive clothes from the clothing bank during these times.

Coffee mornings are held on the first and third Saturday of each month and people wanting a cuppa and a chat are free to attend between 10am and noon.

The Befriending Network where people can share experiences and encourage other positively, operates Tuesdays between 10am and noon.

Luckily for the man a volunteer delivered food to his home and the service now does more than just feed people by running several other schemes.

The charity also runs a clothing bank providing clean clothes for men, women, teenagers and children and holds coffee mornings.

“They [the clothes] are freely received and we freely give them out,” continued the pastor.

So beneficial is the charity it has been chosen for the Co-op Local Community Fund from April 9 till October 7.

This means one per cent of everything customers spend on Co-op branded products and services will be donated to the cause.

The project is staffed by volunteers, some who have experienced similar challenges to those they help also run a befriending network.

Claire Thompson, 40, from Hornchurch, decided to volunteer while looking for work.

“I feel like I am giving something back to the community,” she said.

“It keeps me active and gives me a reason to get up every day.

“It is a wonderful experience. Not only do you get some joy out of it but you can give joy to others.”

The charity needs more volunteers, an admin worker, food and clothes, if you can help contact info@rainham.foodbank.org.uk.


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