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Lowestoft area churches feeding the children

Churches in the Lowestoft area have been working together to provide meals and craft sessions for families during the Easter holidays.

The provision is part of a scheme known as FISH, or Food in the School Holidays, and is an initiative that originated through Foodbanks, and now more churches are coordinating FISH groups for their local communities.


Gemma Eglington, the FISH co-ordinator at St Mark’s Church in Oulton Broad, pictured above, said “We have been running FISH since February 2021, providing each family with a take away meal and craft. In May 2022 we opened our door to welcome families to eat in at St Marks Church as an alternative to the take aways. We then felt that we could help to strengthen the team across the town and offer our venue to cover a wider area of the town.”


There are now nine different venues ensuring that a provision is there every day across the town. The scheme, which is supported by Lowestoft Town Council, handed out over 500 meals since it started, with 48 meals provided during February half term this year and 53 during Holy Week. The venues work and coordinate together, so if there’s a family in need, the venues communicate with each other in order to maximise the support they can offer.


Gemma said “The relationships we are building are going from strength to strength and through FISH we are able to introduce these families to a greater Communion with God.” She explained that families are wanting to know more and becoming more involved in church activities, including their Alpha Course.  


The FISH meals have also given the opportunity for the provision of other benefits, such as craft sessions, discounted tickets for local attractions, food hampers, and even slow cookers, often with the support of local businesses and supermarkets.


Gemma concluded, “I see it an honour to be able to serve the people that enter in to our Church and feel very humble to be able to be part of a service which allows us to get alongside these families by serving God in this way, and it would not be possible to do this without our wonderful support team.”


The photo above is courtesy of Diocese of Norwich.


This story is based on an article by Gemma Eglington in the Diocese of Norwich newsletter.


Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in East Norfolk?  

If so, e-mail [email protected] with details and, if possible a suitable picture. 

Tony Rothe, 07/04/2023

Read the full article here

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