This summer, churches and communities across Gloucestershire are helping to feed families by distributing ‘Family Food Hampers’. We caught up with St James’ Church Quedgeley & Kingsway to find out more about the scheme and how they are offering support.
The Gloucestershire County Council Holiday, Activity and Food (HAF) programme, run by Gloucestershire County Council, is funded by the Department of Education for who receive benefits-related free school meals.
Jackie Hall, a member of St James’ Church Quedgeley & Kingsway, says, “St James’ Church had already been part of the HAF scheme at Easter, when we opened up the church building as a venue to distribute food parcels and last year we offered activities for children on the grounds. It was a great success, so we were only too happy to help again this summer holiday when we were asked by the County Council.”
Each food parcel contained three bags and the recipes and ingredients for three easy-to-make, balanced meals. Foods included pasta, bread rolls, cornflakes, tins of fruit and vegetables, jacket potatoes and squash.
St James’ have hosted two dates over summer. On 10 August, the team set up in the churchyard as the church was being used for a service, so that families could walk or drive up and collect their hampers from the pop-up tent.
Jackie adds, “We gave out about 140 food parcels on the first day. It is very rewarding to be part of this scheme and to have the opportunity to talk to and meet people as they collected their hampers. They were very appreciative and thankful for the food.”
The HAF scheme is being rolled out at churches and community locations across the county this summer. To receive a food hamper, people are asked to sign up through the County Council website to pre-book, but they can also turn up on the day.
The Family Food Hamper days have been held over two weeks in the school summer holidays on 10 & 11 and 17 & 18 August. You can find out more about the hampers here, and also ways your own church might like to sign up to support future events run by HAF. Home Cooking Kits – Gloucester City HAF