Every Saturday morning from 10:00am to 12 noon the Foodbank Distribution Centre is open at Bethesda Church.
Anyone who has obtained a voucher from the Job Centre, the CAB, a doctor, or a minister can bring it to Bethesda on a Saturday morning and receive enough food to feed them and their family for three days. Clients are desperate because they have no food in the house and no means of buying any in the immediate future. So we provide short term help to tide them over. No client may be given more than three vouchers in six months, and each voucher must be presented at a distribution centre within three days. With the opening of the distribution centre at Bethesda, there is now a distribution centre open in Runcorn on every day of the week except Sunday.
At Bethesda, as at all the Foodbank Distribution Centres, clients can expect to see warm smiles and receive a sympathetic welcome. They can have a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of toast while they wait for their carrier bags to be packed, and can chat to one of our volunteers. It often helps to be able to explain why they are in the situation in which they find themselves, and the volunteer will offer leaflets, where appropriate, that may help the client if they are struggling to deal with problems such as debt or health issues. Before the client leaves with their carrier bags the volunteer will offer to pray with and for them. Not everyone will accept the offer, but that's OK. They will be prayed for anyway after they have left.
You wouldn't think foodbanks should be necessary in 21st century Britain, but clearly they are. By staffing a Foodbank Distribution Centre, as well as donating food to the Runcorn Foodbank, Hallwood Parish is showing God's love for all God's people. It is one way in which we are building God's kingdom on earth.