Our annual Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal comes at the same time as believers and non-believers alike prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
But it’s some words Jesus said as a man that drives volunteers at foodbanks in Spalding, Long Sutton, Holbeach, Deeping St James, Sutterton and, in two weeks time, Sutton Bridge to help the needy and desperate this Christmastime.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank, based at The Lighthouse Church in Spalding, are discovering that amongst the hungry are people who are self-employed but finding work hard to come by and men whose relationships have hit the rocks.
Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank, said: “We’re doing very well with the Christmas donations that are coming in now from churches, businesses, district councillors and other organisations.
“But we’ve seen an increase in the number of people ringing up and saying they have exhausted the food vouchers they’ve been given.
“People are asking us for out-of-date food because they are so desperate and we’ve also seen a lot of single men coming to us who are struggling because of benefit delays or relationships breaking down.
“We had one client who was self-employed, with a partner and four children.
“But his work has dried up and the relationship with his partner has ended.”