I had a fascinating conversation this week with a lady who was telling me she doesn’t really like food banks. It’s not because she thinks they are unnecessary or has some dimwitted view of the world. It’s because she realised that in the one she works in, most of the food handed out is processed, high in salt content and generally bad for people.
Instead she has started doing something, which I think is remarkable. She is befriending everyone who comes to the food bank, putting together a parcel, including a knife, a potato peeler, some washing up liquid and a scrubbing-brush/cloth and she goes to their house with them. She helps them clean their kitchen, has an honest chat about money, works out the most basic of shopping budgets, takes them to a supermarket and then teaches them to cook some cheap but nutritious meals. She’s not a superhero, she knows what it is to have very little and to be a single mum with significant health problems, but she’s determined that life at the bottom does not have to be lonely and it does not have to be full of dregs. On the contrary it can become a place of great creativity and love!