Over midsummer weekend, twenty Luton churches collected food together for Luton Foodbank. They amassed 168 crates of food - enough to cover nearly 2 weeks' demand from struggling Lutonians.

It's been a challenge. Without emergency grants, enabling us to bulk-buy food, we could have faced closure.

Luton’s churches, along with mosques, schools, and businesses, have supported Luton Foodbank since it started in 2013. However, COVID-19, panic buying, and lockdown have broken their food-gathering model of  many people giving small amounts at many collection points. While many of our usual volunteers had to stay at home, supermarket shelves were empty, and the the number, and the for food parcels doubled. Despite normally having about ten weeks' supply in our warehouse. our shelves were dangerously empty. 

We were sure people still wanted to give. We just had to ensure they had a safe way to do it.

Luton's churches arranged socially distanced outdoor collections. After spreading the word, and working with the local community, nine collections ran for 2-3 hours across the town.

Everywhere there was a buzz, as volunteers talked together face to face - albeit at the required 2 metres - for the first time in three months. They engaged with passers by, and some took the opportunity to open up the church for private prayer.

  • Christ Church, Bushmead - Rev Tim Madeley and his team worked with the community centre and Co-op on Saturday afternoon.
  • St Luke’s, Leagrave - Rev Grace Sentamu Baverstock and curate Jess Maclaren joined with Christ Believers Fellowship and Leagrave Methodists to organise a drive-by drop off.
  • St Marys, town centre -  the young people set up a gazebo in the churchyard opposite the Mall.
  • Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Bury Park - 28 crates collected in a dingle lunchtime.

Other participating churches included The Gospel Pentecostal Church, St Peters in Dallow, The Olive Tree in Biscot, St Christophers in Round Green, and St Anne’s on Crawley Green Road.

Luton Foodbank thanks everybody involved. The churches are keen to repeat the exercise, and we invite you to join their efforts.

Can you come up with your own innovative ways to collect food in these challenging times?



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