St Augustine's, Dumbarton

Scottish Episcopal Church

Charity Number: SC002984


History of Food For Thought

Food for Thought is St Augustine’s response to the increasing need of individuals and families for food aid in our area. We are a referral only service, taking referrals from any agency in West Dunbartonshire and further afield should the need arise.

When people come to us the only data we collect is the name, post code and the number of children they are supporting. We ask this to tailor the bags: to include nappies and baby milk for families with babies, extra food and toiletries for families with teenagers and extra cereals, biscuits & crisps for larger families.

Since 2015 we have supplied food to approx. 2,500 individuals with food, with almost half of those being children.

image 2As well as giving emergency food we also give other crucial support. One family who came to us were expecting a baby within three weeks and had no redress to public funds. Through our local baby charity, Life, we provided baby furniture, bottles, nappies and clothes. We continue to support this family on a weekly basis with baby essentials and food for themselves. Recently we have assisted 2 families into permanent tenancies, giving practical support and have accessed the Vicar’s Relief Fund from St Martin’s-in-the-Field, to provide basic essentials of home life for them. Again, our support continues.

On a weekly and daily basis we provide guidance and counselling to those who need extra support. This may come in the form of short term interventions, but for some the help is desperately needed over many months.

St Augustine’s, placed right on the High Street and at the heart of the community, has always been known as the place to come to for help.   Throughout his 15 years here, Fr Kenny has constantly welcomed through the doors many of life’s lost and forgotten. They are brought into the St Augustine’s family with love, kindness and compassion. No-one has ever been turned away. Members of the congregation also help in this vital ministry and this year our Food4Thought initiative has grown so much Caroline Marsland has been appointed to co-ordinate this ever growing project.

image 3This appointment was made possible, initially, when the Bishop awarded us a grant from Diocesan funds. The money paid for Caroline’s position for a year, and also formalised our programme into a charity in its own right.

The food that we give out is funded by kind donations from the community and from local businesses and organisations. The cost to us of feeding an individual could be £8 per visit, but this significantly increases if larger families need help. It could be as much as £50 if baby milk and nappies are required. Currently we have to top up our food donations by £150 per week. We forecast that this figure will significantly rise with the continuation of austerity measures, the implementation of Universal Credits and the decreasing value of wages.

At Christmas and Easter we were able to provide toys and eggs, giving out gifts to around 90 families this year. The generosity of our local banks and businesses enabled us to do this. A free Christmas lunch for over 80 folk who were going to be alone on Christmas Day was held, with the help of a host of volunteers willing to give up part of their own Christmas Day.


From 31st July this year we have provided food to 499 people:

271 adults & 228 children.

 

Food for Thought Gallery




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