The Very Beginning
The Foodbank at Rayleigh Started in November 2018, when a few people, came and knocked on our door at REC Church in Rayleigh during the week, asking if we had any food.
These were not homeless people as you may expect to ask for food, these were Mums with children asking if we had any food. Our Pastor Jason Content was the one to receive them and he felt compelled to find these families some food. At first, he would go to M&S in Rayleigh and buy them some food. His heart was broken for them. He went to sleep one night in November and was awoken to what he says was probably the voice of God so audible to him and it said: "fill the garage with food." He didn't sleep at all that night and the next day went out food shopping in Lidl where he felt prompted to ask the Store Manager if they had any food that they did not sell and if he could have it to give to the poor and the needy. They told him how to apply for food and he followed that process with success, and so it began the collection of food in December 2018. Jason would drive the food around to the needy families in Rayleigh, Eastwood and Rochford and would put some extra aside to begin filling the garage. The need grew and grew, and one supermarket after another came on board. This was becoming clear to Jason that this was not just going to be a small thing. So he set out to open a Foodbank.
In June 2019 after months of hard work, and some keen volunteers the Foodbank officially opened its doors in Rayleigh Essex, and a few people started to come by. Sainsbury's in Eastwood in July 2019 started helping out and sending members of staff to help meet the growing need of people that have been coming.
We started with ten to twenty people in our first few months. Today we can see up to sixty five people a week now and that has grown in just six months, just giving whatever food we had collected from the supermarkets to people in need that would come in. We don't operate on a ticket system we just give what we have and so far the need is always met. We operate out of this bible verse for our Foodbank, as we are a Christian Church, and believe in the Bible. We do have volunteers that don’t believe in Christianity to help us, and that is great. We do not push the Bible onto people it is just something that will always be there for us, because we want to show the love of God, to everyone.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Since operating out of this verse and following the principles of this Bible verse God the Father has always met our need each week.
We have received some criticism from people asking “do people take the mick?”, “how do you stop people from taking the food they don't need?” The answer to these questions is, if you saw the people that come to the foodbank the tears in their eyes when they first walk through our doors and ask for food, the courage it takes someone to admit that they are in poverty you would understand that it would take a very cold person to come in and take when they do not need.
The Foodbank in Rayleigh, today sees up to sixty-five people a week; this number has grown in just seven months of opening. When we opened we served ten people a week, and this number is growing every week. The majority of people do come from around the Rayleigh area.
We are open on Friday Mornings from 10am – 12noon. We are hoping to open on a Wednesday Morning soon we just need some more volunteers for a Wednesday morning.
We are also in need of finances to keep the Foodbank growing and we need to raise around £40K over the next twelve months to keep going, for another twelve months. If you are interested in supporting us financially please do email with the Subject FAO Jason Content Finances.
If you would like to use the Foodbank or find yourself in need of the Foodbank at Rayleigh then please do just come along on a Friday morning 10am – 12noon.
If you would like to volunteer please email with the Subject Volunteer, and one of the team will get back to you.
There is a gallery of pictures below of our journey so far please do take a moment to look at them.
Thank you for reading our Story.
If you would like to make a monetary donation please press on the button below.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT REC FOODBANK IN RAYLEIGH
As a person with mental health problems. I was as nervous as a Kitten as I wacked through the food bank doors. My fears were completley unjustified. All the team are friendly helpful and Kind.
The foodbank has helped me a lot as I struggled to afford the basics the people are really friendly and kind. The fruit and veg and other items help me make meals for the week.
I was really struggling and worrying about going to a foodbank, thinking that I would be judged because of the situation I am in. Yet that was not the case here, the people here are so kind and just showed me and my partner love and did not judge us at all. They are all very kind and offer you a cup of tea and chat to you. Its now a place I look forward to going to which is strange but its very happy here.