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Viewpoint from Colleen Palmer 30/10/2015 

Dove rightColleen Palmer
Methodist local preacher

On Sunday 20th September we celebrated Harvest Festival in the Minster, giving thanks to God for the gifts of the harvest being gathered in by our hardworking farmers.  People brought gifts of fresh vegetables and fruit, tinned and packed food.  These reminded us of the amazing variety of food that grows in this land and around the world, showing how wonderfully creative God is

The Bible often encourages us to share our plenty and riches with the poor, the widow, and the orphan.  We are fortunate in this town that this is fulfilled in the work of the Great Yarmouth Food Bank at Herbies – Salvation Army, The Well, and The Bridge.  Here people in desperate need can be referred to for a 3 day food parcel.  Thank you to those of you who donate food in any way at the various outlets in our town.  The Pathway Project in the Minster Mission offers some sort of meal 3 days a week.  This too relies on local donors for fresh food, money and volunteers to run it

dove leftBut what about our own care, stewardship, and use of the harvest?  TV programmes such as “Eat Well For Less” encourage us to think about how we spend our money and how we waste good food.  I’m often grateful for that left-over meal in the freezer that I can defrost and microwave on a busy day

The Bible also says a workman deserves his wage.  Our farmers work hard and deserve to get a fair price for their harvests.  When they are paid less than it cost to produce food and to have a reasonable standard of living (as we all expect) then there is something very wrong.  Supporting some form of ‘fair’ goes some way towards a “Just Price”.  Looking for Farm Assured labels reassures us that the animals have been well cared for

On our worldwide scale, as we see refugees fleeing for their lives because of war, persecution and famine we can also remember by giving to those charities and the United Nations that are trying to help the desperate

So, as you prepare your meals this coming week, remember before God, and give thanks for:

the farmer who grew and harvested the food
the manufacturer and packer who prepare food
the truckers and seamen who transported our food
the shopkeepers who sell our food
the person who cooked and put the meal on our tables