Premier plans to double its 'Feed the Hungry' food bags programme next Christmas
Ambitious plans to double the number of food bags distributed by churches to food banks and other community projects during the Christmas 2014 period were announced today by Premier Christian Media and hunger relief charity Feed the Hungry.
The Feed the Hungry campaign was originally inspired by the Christian message from Matthew 25:35, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in."
Last Christmas, a total of 275 churches signed up to receive special bags, which contained a check list of the items the food banks needed, resulting in the distribution of more than 24,000 food bags during the 2013 Christmas period.
However, Premier needs over 50,000 bags.
Churches will once more start up the food collection at Christmas carol services, before passing them onto local food banks and projects to distribute the food items during the difficult month of January, when many are feeling the post-Christmas pinch.
Handover of the food bags during the 2013 campaign was mostly kept to areas local to churches, and consequently tailor-made to suit the needs of individual communities. The major beneficiaries were homeless shelters, food banks who were associated with the collection churches, and needy individuals.
Premier's CEO, Peter Kerridge, said today that the programme had been driven by difficulties associated with the economic downturn.
"The rising cost of living and levels of unemployment mean that many people continue to struggle to provide food for their families," he said.
"We cannot be idle when there is food poverty in our communities. It is our duty as Christians to help those in need."