St Catharine’s Church in Gloucester has been working with Kingsholm Primary School to support families who may struggle to feed their children this summer.
The church usually runs a summer cafe for people to come and have a chat and something to eat, but is unable to follow it’s usual programme this year. However, in conversation with staff at the school, it became evident that there were around 30 families who are not yet eligible for free school meals but are in new financial difficulties.
The school helped St Catharine’s to get in touch with these families and invite them to a Summer Activity Squad on Wednesdays between 12 and 3pm.
When they arrive, they can pick up food and activity packs with pens, pencils, scissors, glue etc and then each week a small activity pack with practical activity, things to draw and linked to a Bible verse..There’s also a chance to have a chat with the congregation members and reconnect a little with the community.
The congregation has provided money, food and prayers to support the scheme and are volunteering to meet the families each Wednesday.
Churchwarden Rachel Barton was on of the volunteers helping to get the food parcels ready for the families. She said, “As I opened the church doors, fresh air blew in. It was as if God was breathing life back into the church. The piles of tins and dried food were breathtaking.
“The conversation around me faded to a whisper in the distance and all I could hear was Jesus saying ‘This is how I want you to feed my people this year’
“Families arrived in a steady stream, all thankful for the food to feed their families for another week and not quite believing we wanted to help them. One family who spoke very little English could not understand why we were giving away the food.#
“It was good to be part of St Catharine’s family, all working together again – something we do exceedingly well.”