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Collection plate replaced with shopping trolley in Bournemouth church

21 October 2022


The Revd Michael Smith (centre) and the Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle (right), with some members of the congregation of St Luke’s, and food collected

The Revd Michael Smith (centre) and the Dean of Winchester, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle (right), with some members of the congregation of St Luke’s, ...

ONE parish has come up with a novel way to help people struggling with soaring bills: putting food on their plates rather than money in the collection.

During the Sunday service at St Luke’s, Winton, in Bournemouth, this week, the collection plate was replaced with a shopping trolley for donations in kind for the charity Hope for Food.

The Rector of Winton, Moordown, and Charminster, the Revd Michael Smith, said that the collection would be made each week: “We are appalled by the ever-increasing need for foodbanks in this day and age, and as a result we have stepped up our approach and what we can do to help.

“In the big scheme of things, it’s a small amount, but when we heard that Hope for Food were having to buy food because they were supplying more and more people with provisions, we just had to do something. This is a small gesture.”

Members of the congregation were also each given pre-printed postcards addressed to Bournemouth’s two MPs — Tobias Ellwood (Conservative) and Conor Burns (Independent) — asking them: “What are you doing to address the root causes of food insecurity and eradicate the need for charities like Hope for Food?” The cards will be sent out each week.

Fr Smith, who is also the Area Dean of Bournemouth, said: “We felt it was really important that we asked our local MPs what they are doing to stop the reliance on foodbanks and charities such as Hope for Food. It will be interesting to hear their responses.”

Hope for Food was founded in Bournemouth in 2012 with a soup kitchen in a car park. Today, it provides more than 1200 food parcels a month, and a twice-weekly community meal. The charity’s operations manager, Mary Duncan, said: “We are really gratefully to organisations such as the Parish of Winton, Moordown, and Charminster.

“We are reliant on many organisations for donations — schools, individuals, and businesses, as well as churches. Without them, our food donations would be even less. Having a weekly collection, however large or small, will be of great help and ensure that we can continue to help those most in need in Bournemouth.”

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