Affordable food box scheme for Sawley and Long Eaton launched

Published on: Monday, 9th November 2020

Churches in Sawley and Long Eaton have launched a scheme to provide affordable food boxes for local people. 

The scheme is led by Hope Long Eaton, a Christian initiative with a community focus.

Families and individuals can pay £6 a week to receive an affordable Manna Food Box.  Every week the boxes will include bread, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, a dairy or protein product, tins and dried goods, and usually one or two treats.

Rev Elaine Jones, curate of Sawley Parish Church, said, ‘The impact of coronavirus means that some people are struggling to make ends meet.  If people are on reduced incomes, they can know that for this relatively small amount of £6 they will receive a box of wholesome foodstuffs, and that can free them up to manage other bills.’

The name ‘manna’ comes from the Bible story of God providing food called manna for His people as they travelled through the desert.  The idea for the food boxes developed during the summer, when Carl McCarthy, the director of Hope Long Eaton, Elaine, and Sam Tredwell, the vicar of St. John’s Long Eaton, got together to distribute meals to families under the scheme to provide food for children in the summer holidays.  They realised that there was scope for a longer-term project, open not just to families with children, but more widely to anyone who would benefit.

The coordinators buy some of the food from FareShare, an organisation which distributes surplus food to charities.  They also buy from local wholesalers and receive donations from local supermarkets. 

Volunteers help to pack the boxes and distribute them in line with current social distancing restrictions.  The scheme is recruiting the volunteers from local churches.

Distribution takes place every Monday afternoon from 3-4.15pm and every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm at St John’s Church, Canal Street, Long Eaton. More collection points will be added as and when needed.

Carl McCarthy said, ‘This scheme is open to anyone. All you need to do is sign up and pay the weekly amount.’

People can sign up online or simply go along to St John’s Church at the times listed above, or to Petersham Hall, Grasmere Road, where Hope Long Eaton run a community outreach  on Monday from 10am – 12noon to collect a form and find out more. 

Elaine said, ‘It matters to God when people are hungry, when they’re worried about how they’re going to feed their children. We want to show that God cares.’

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