Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.

At this time of Harvest Festivals Fran Monahan encourages us to remember and support those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

She writes: In Matthew 25:37 we ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?’

This was on the banner above the shopping trolley where I was collecting food items for the Derby City Mission Food Bank in ASDA a few Saturdays ago. ASDA have been very generous in allowing us to keep a trolley in their store so if you are feeling generous please do add something.

So how does the DCM Food Bank work? Well, it’s designed for people who are in a crisis. Some individuals attend one of our clinics, along with all their financial information, for help with budgeting, benefits or debt and they may be given food for one or two weeks to tide them over. Others are recommended – with appropriate paperwork – by a support agency (including social services and Derby City Council). Each need is unique. One man I recently gave food to had learning difficulties and had ignored important paperwork. His key worker was sorting him out but in the meantime he needed to eat. Another was a lady with 5 children who had, until very recently, been well supported in a, she thought, happy family. Then without warning her husband walked out. Support etc was being sorted by herself and her new keyworker but, again, in the meantime she and her children needed to eat.

As part of our Nightshelter programme we work with many agencies in order to house homeless people. Once someone is housed they, too, need a lot of support with finance, budgeting and initially, of course, food so the DCM food bank is kept very busy! Normally an individual is given two shopping bags of food and toiletries designated bag A and bag B. As well they receive a large frozen loaf and half a dozen eggs. In the case of families such as the one I mentioned frequently all of this is doubled.

Derby City Mission is not, I am aware, the only foodbank around and we all have slightly different but equally important clients. All of us need your generous support so please, if you have the opportunity and are able to, remember those who are in need.

Fran Monahan, Reader, All Saints Church, Breadsall

(Morley Church supports The Padley Centre and Smalley Church, Salcare in Heanor).