Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?” And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:37, 40, NKJV).
During a year which saw the 23 year old England and Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford pick up an MBE from the Queen in acknowledgement of his widely praised campaign to ensure that every child in the UK did not suffer hunger during the Covid-19 pandemic, (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/oct/09/marcus-rashford-given-mbe-in-birthday-honours-for-school-meals-campaign) members of the Hackney Seventh-Day Adventist Church assisted in the running of a food bank, meeting the needs of hundreds within the community.
Beverley Daley, an assistant in the food bank, saw the need after members of the community had asked why the church doors had been closed. “Many members of the community were asking why the church had closed and expressed various needs which they felt we could meet. So that’s when we decided to reopen our food bank,” said Beverley.
Running two days a week – on Mondays and Thursdays from 3-6pm, the food bank has attracted various members within the community facing extreme hardship including single parents, the unemployed and those who are homeless. Miriam Barham, a member of Hackney and a retired NHS worker expressed pleasure in giving her free time to serve the needs of those within the community. “It is a privilege to assist in the running of the food bank and to give something back to those in great need,” she said before adding: “The food bank is an important service to the community because it serves everyone – all echelons of society. There is no shame because at some stage we all fall on hard times but when we do it’s good to know that the church doors are open and that someone cares.”
Marcus Arnold, a member of Hackney Church, delivers food packages to members of the community who find themselves house bound. He said: “I help with the lifting and delivering of food packages to members of the community who are house bound and unable to get out to the food bank. We also deliver food packages to local hostels and the homeless. OAP’s are particularly appreciative of the service we offer them and it’s a pleasure to know that we can assist them in this way.”
Hackney Church Pastor, Joojo Bonnie says the food bank has been a lifeline to members of the community throughout the pandemic. “We have seen the numbers of those accessing the food bank steadily rise with the number currently standing as 80 individuals per week and counting. We see it as our Christian bound duty to show the community that we care and that we are available to meet as much as we can their various needs.”