Action Zones 

Plea for food box partner church in Yarmouth

VineyardFoodstore2WebAn appeal has been issued for a partner church in the Great Yarmouth area to help provide food parcels for desperate and needy families.
Norwich Vineyard church has just marked ten years of providing boxes of food free to needy families across the city and county.
The Food Store project regularly supplies boxes packed with non-perishable food and other essentials items to a wide range of projects and families across Norwich and Wymondham and now needy families in Great Yarmouth have started to receive the parcels.
Now the Vineyard Food Store team is looking for a partner church near the coast to help it in this vital ministry.
The Yarmouth area organizer Mike Jarvis said: “Although as a fellowship, Vineyard gives very generously, we are unable to meet all the requests we get because the need is so great. We are now getting pleas for boxes from as far as Great Yarmouth and Wymondham.  We have started to replicate the practice of foodstore for Great Yarmouth running under the name "FoodstoreGY"   and working with the good people of Social Services at Nelson House. But we need to involve other churches and even workplaces and individuals if they want to get involved to serve the community. It is a simple practice providing real help when people need it".
“If there is a church in Yarmouth who would like to join us in this vital ministry, we would love to hear from them. We are also happy to hear from new contacts who can place food boxes with families who really need them.”
At Norwich Vineyard, the Food Store was started when church member and health visitor  Ruth Warner saw how some families were simply unable to feed themselves properly all the time.
The service started in an embryonic form when church family members brought food on an ad-hoc basis and other members took it to families they knew were in need.
Today there is a dedicated team, led by Austin Perkins in Norwich and including Mike and Helen Jarvis in Yarmouth. Every first Sunday in the month they line up a long row of tables in the hall at Thorpe St Andrews High School, where the church meets, and congregation members stack it high with tins, instant food and chocolates.
“We try to make sure the food is good quality and include plenty of treats for the children,” said Austin. “Some of the families we help don’t have a cooker so we try to include food that can be prepared with just a kettle.”
Sometimes up to 20 boxes are packed up and then distributed via the health-visiting network and social services family intervention teams and through various Christian social action projects such as the YMCA, Pregnancy Crisis and the Magdalene Group.
Each box contains a label detailing where the gift has come from and reassuring the recipient that ‘there are no strings attached’.
One of the regular contacts is Jenny Payne, a health visitor working for Thorpe Hamlet Sure Start. She said: “It’s really good being able to give food directly to the families in desperate need. We can deliver to families with as many as ten children and we know that the children will get something good to eat.”
If you think you may be able to help, please contact Austin on 01603 484585 or 07984 873815, or at or Mike at or on 07952 155 573

Pictured above are Austin Perkins and Robert Warner with some of the food boxes Norwich Vineyard have given out recently.