The following article was printed in our recent Church Magazine. We thought it worth sharing…
Having supported the Cornerstone food bank for some time with weekly food donations from our congregation, Cumbernauld Old Parish Church decided to offer additional help in the form of a satellite food bank in our area too. Thus with the support of our friends at Cornerstone, the Village food bank opened its doors in April 2015 at the Session House in the Village.
The Cumbernauld Village food bank is open in the church Session House on Friday mornings from 11 – 12.30 to provide not just food and toiletries but support and a welcome for some of the most vulnerable in our community. Advice can be given regarding courses on basic cooking and budgeting as well as providing information regarding other agencies who may be of help. An important function is to provide a relaxed friendly place where people can come to share and chat over a coffee and feel valued.
The food bank is run entirely by volunteers and relies on donations from the congregation and some local retailers. Since its launch the Village food bank has helped up to eight households each week.
At Christmas we held a party with carols, gifts and treats which everyone enjoyed.
In April 2016 we marked our first anniversary by having a Friendship Day, which recognised all the new friendships that have been made over the last year among our guests and volunteers. An enormous cake, which represented caring and sharing was enjoyed by all, as were a host of other treats. Some friends from Cornerstone joined us on the day as did a group of local students who recorded some of the proceedings as part of their project on food banks.
The congregation of Cumbernauld Old has always supported the food bank with amazing generosity, not least when a full car load, and I do mean a full car load, of Easter eggs was donated to the food bank for distribution locally. Every week there are donations of food and toiletries as well as cash from the congregation and without this support the food bank would simply not be able to function. Especially appreciated were the donations of gifts at Christmas. So a huge thank you to everyone for their kindness.
All those involved in this venture be they volunteers, supporters or recipients have found the experience very rewarding and look to continue as long as there is a need to do so.
As Hymn 710 simply says “faith proves itself in deeds”.