For many years, we have been running some outstanding ministries that are able to reach those who would otherwise have no connection with the church. In the past couple of years there has been a growing hunger to extend our ministries to serve into social justice.
The possibilities seemed endless; there were so many great initiatives already in place around Crawley that we could partner with, and yet we hadn’t done so.
When a lady got in touch, out of the blue, from an organisation offering surplus food to charities, we felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit that it was time to stop thinking about doing it and time to get on with it.
FareShare is a charity that aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste by rescuing quality surplus food and distributing it to various charities and community projects around the UK. The charities involved then produce a meal from this food for those in need. Last year, FareShare was able to save 8,500 tonnes of food, which was distributed to over 2,200 charities who were able to provide 17.7 million meals to those in need.
After several conversations, a kitchen inspection, and an eligibility check, FareShare accepted us to receive a weekly collection of food. We quickly realised that this was an opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of, and so we started dreaming as a team as to how we could run a meal each week for those who need it.
We felt the Holy Spirit lead us to Isaiah 58:10-12 as a promise over us as we look to move into this new work. “If you pour yourself out for the hungry … then shall your light rise in the darkness” (v10).
This opportunity also appears timely following on from the recent ‘social justice’ stream completed as part of our Life Change Sunday series. We have since been able to pull together a team from the group that will be involved with running, cooking, hosting and serving those who will come in for their meal.
Feed Crawley is due to launch on Wednesday 1st June 2016. We will be opening our café to feed those who need it the most, whatever the reason they may be struggling to feed themselves.
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To find out more or to get involved with FareShare, take a look at their website: www.fareshare.org.uk