On Saturday 6 July, The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, visited Borehamwood Foodbank which was set up with the support of Caritas Diocese of Westminster.
It provides crisis packs of food for those referred by registered Care Professionals who provide a voucher for three days supply of meals.
The visit began at the collection point at the local Tescos in Borehamwood where the Archbishop met Foodbank volunteers, Tesco staff involved in the work and those who came to donate. He then went to the Foodbank Warehouse at the Parish of St Teresa of the Child Jesus to see how the team of volunteers manage the logistics of distribution. Since opening in February 2013, the Borehamwood Foodbank has given out two tonnes of food to more than 180 people.
Archbishop Vincent said, “It was a great insight into such valuable work and I was delighted to see such generosity from people. This is a project that has shown long term commitment from those volunteers who give their time and energy to a solution that has shown remarkable signs of success.”
John Coleby, Director of Caritas, Diocese of Westminster said, “This Foodbank involves different Christian Churches and Jewish groups and is thus a great sign of collaboration. The day was a wonderful recognition by Archbishop Nichols of the issue of food poverty in the area of Borehamwood”.
Typically users of foodbanks are those who are facing benefit or salary delays, are on low incomes, are suffering sickness or changes of circumstance. Parish Priest, Fr Dominic Mckenna, said: “The Foodbanks do not judge or comment on the situation of anyone who has a voucher. In such a situation all someone should face is a smile, a cup of tea and being asked, what can I do to help?”
The Foodbank was set up by the Trussell Trust in 1997. Caritas Diocese of Westminster (CDOW) was established in May 2012 and is the social action agency of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Westminster which facilitates social outreach work to tackle poverty and social exclusion. Caritas Diocese of Westminster brings together established charitable organisations, enabling them to share resources and expertise in helping the poor and marginalised. CDOW connects diocesan agencies, charities and statutory agencies with local initiatives such as parish projects. Work is based on sharing good practice and collaborative working.
For photographs of the visit please click here