Coventry Central foodbank is a partnership between Mosaic, Holy Trinity, Queens Road Baptist Church, Jesus Army, Vineyard, St John’s Westwood Heath, Coventry City Mission, the Cathedral, Bethel Evangelical and Foleshill Baptist Churches. Their mission is that “No one in Coventry goes hungry”.

St James Lane have become involved with the food bank since having training on how to issue vouchers to our customers in need and facing a crisis. The staff at St James Lane were very impressed with the service and decided that they needed to go one step further in their involvement with the foodbank. The staff arranged for a collection box at St James Lane so that food could be collected constantly to donate to the food bank.

Staff then expressed an interest in volunteering themselves and giving something back to the communities we work with. Therefore, some members of the team arranged to volunteer at the Hope Centre in Hillfields helping to pack and distribute food to the clients who arrived with vouchers for help. The recipients are given three days of nutritional food to get themselves and their family through the crisis they are facing. It is a very humbling experience for them and one that they do not take lightly.

The first person to volunteer from St James Lane was Nikki Kerby, she said that “the whole experience was fulfilling and it was eye opening to see how many people were living below the poverty line”. The next to visit were Mandy Lynch and Lynda Clempson... Lynda said of the day, “It was a very busy day with people facing the prospect of a weekend without food. The staff there are inspiring as they are dedicated to helping others and are focused on this completely. We helped with making up the food bags delivering them to the customer and filling out the necessary paperwork. All the clients were very grateful with some in tears as they were given the food. I felt as if I had helped in a small way and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I would definitely look to doing this again”

Mandy Lynch said of the experience, “Volunteering at the food bank for me was hard work, but also very rewarding. It was nice to be part of something that helped people out at a difficult time in their lives.”

St James Lane intends to continue with their commitment to help. When there is a spare hour we will arrange for someone to visit one of the sites and help out. Estate officers; rent officers and the customer service team are interested in taking part.