Today we celebrated Harvest Festival and, as in previous years, we requested items for our outreach partners Redbridge Foodbank and Mill Grove. As we left our offerings at the Lady Chapel to be blessed by Father Jack, we were reminded that now, more than ever, every day should be a Harvest Festival.

Food poverty is nothing new. In Father Tom’s sermon today, he referenced Jack Monroe’s blog post, Hunger Hurts, and compared it to the parable of the Rich Fool. ’Hunger Hurts’ was written in 2012, at a time when Jack was an out of work single parent whose housing benefit cheque was £100 short, and had no choice but to pawn items in order to feed her young son.

Eight years on, food poverty is sadly still with us. The coronavirus crisis has led to businesses closing, job losses and employees being furloughed. With the furlough scheme due to come to an end soon, even more people are knocking on our vicarage doors, asking for their foodbank forms to be signed.

How can we help? Every time you shop, pop an extra tin or packet in your basket. Our foodbank bins are waiting to be filled. If you can’t make it to church, then there’s a bin in our local Coop. Or pop A Tin in a Bin – locations dotted around Wanstead on most streets.

Let’s help put an end to food poverty.