Keeping Families Fed - The Message
23 Nov 2021

Keeping Families Fed

It’s hard to believe that a staggering 15,000,000 families in the UK will struggle to put food on their table today – and it’s a battle they’ll face every single day, only made worse since the start of the pandemic. As the Universal Credit uplift has also been taken away and the cost of living continues to soar, life is only getting tougher for the poorest in our country.

We couldn’t stand by and do nothing, so for the past year, through our Message Community Groceries, we’ve been stepping up and helping bring down the cost of the weekly shop for those struggling to feed their families. 

And what began as one shop in September 2020 is now a network of 11 stores across the UK, providing a vital lifeline to over 10,000 families. 

Alex* and his partner are just one of these families. We first met Alex when he signed up at our Lincoln Community Grocery. As work dried up during lockdown, money quickly got tighter than ever, and they found themselves not knowing where the next meal was coming from. As the pandemic continued, the pressure of putting food on the table was a constant battle and it started to impact Alex’s mental health. With the Universal Credit cut looming, things looked bleaker than ever; ‘Some people said the end of the £20 a week top up wasn’t much, but to me, that’s a fifth of my income,’ Alex said. 

Not knowing how he was going to cope, Alex heard about the Community Grocery that had just opened nearby, and quickly signed up. Since then, he’s been a regular customer, shopping for just £3 a visit. ‘It’s amazing here, I can get so much fresh food for the kids. I have social anxiety, but this place means hope to me.’ 

And the groceries are about much more than keeping people fed physically – they’re also about sharing the good news and hope of Jesus with members too. 

As members shop and get involved in the wrap-around courses like debt management, cookery classes and Alpha, we’re getting to know them and building relationships. Every time they come into the store, we chat about how they’re doing and what they’re going through, using every opportunity to pray and share the gospel with them. And as they hear about how much they’re loved by Jesus and the hope he offers, lives are being transformed. 

We want to launch more groceries across the country helping more families lower the cost of their weekly shop and give them the chance to hear the good news of Jesus!

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Could you stand with us and help us open new Community Groceries across the UK? Visit message.org.uk/christmas to find out how!