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Chichester Mothers’ Union launch food aid to support local families
Chichester Diocese and Chichester Family Support Work (FSW) supporting local needs
17 Jun 2020
Mothers’ Union branches nationwide have been working across the United Kingdom and Ireland to keep communities safe and connected. They have crafted thousands of new essential items every week for the national effort to protect key workers and found new ways to meet in fellowship online, as well as in reaching out safely to support vulnerable people.
Now is no different.
Whilst government measures have been enacted to prevent the spread of Covid-19, lockdown is now being eased and freedoms are slowly being restored, Mothers’ Union branches are still alert to ongoing and new emerging needs where they can and must help. In Chichester Diocese, this recently included a shortage of food for local families.
This reflects the national picture where families have been affected by a reduced or ceased income due to Covid-19. The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network, said it gave out 89% more food parcels in April, compared to the same month last year, while the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) recorded a 175% increase over the same period.
When the diocesan charity Family Support Work (FSW) were short on food for the families they work with across Sussex, Chichester MU were quick to support, promoting the need to local members and in the community and setting up collection points for four weeks to ensure that there could be enough food for FSW to continue their work.
Martin Auton Lloyd is the CEO of FSW. He said: “The MU has always been a great friend to FSW and just as we thought we were going to hit problems with food supplies they step in and offer to help keep the food bank running. Bringing our joint supporters together like this is a great way to show to the wider community the commitment to serving those in need that we, as Christians, have.”
FSW has been helping children and their families across Sussex since 1890 and the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner is its Patron.
Many of the 44 Mothers’ Union Branches in Chichester Diocese have already taken part since the call to action made on the appropriate moment of Ascension Day, Thursday 21st May, as Christians all over the world came together to join in prayer with “Thy Kingdom Come”.
Diocesan President, Karen Hill said: “I know Mothers’ Union members pray with their feet moving. This was a simple need and one I knew we could help with. Whilst our work abroad cannot, at this moment, stop families abroad always going hungry, we can help those on our own doorstep. FSW and Mothers’ Union mirror each other’s core values, and are an obvious partnership in these difficult times.”
The last eight weeks in lockdown has been hard and members relish the opportunity to do something, to help others. One member, Norma said,” My granddaughter gets my shopping for me, as I have to be shielded. It will be lovely to get her to buy some food for someone other than me!! It’s good to do things for each other.”
The fact that our local media have supported us too and Turning Tides, a tiny charity in Worthing, who work with the homeless allowed us to use their van on a Saturday when they don't use it really helped momentum and goes to show that we can achieve so much more when we work right across the community, I know that many of our members will agree.”
If you wish to know more or would like to donate food before the 21 June or find out more about the work of Chichester MU, further details can be found here: https://www.chichester.anglican.org/glitter_news/2020/05/22/chichester-m...