Written by Sue Brett, 19/07/13
"The Community Meals started in the Larchfield area 4 months ago, predominately because there is a large area of people in real need but no church or building where people could go to access help and take place once a month. It took a while for the idea to take off, the first meal attracting no one, other than 2 poor boys who happened to look in the window and were invited in. The second meal had a better response. Housing Solutions, the old Re:charge group spoke to families who they knew needed help and people came, there were 30 people to that meal, the response was amazing, the guests coming up for seconds and thirds, for nearly all, this was the first 'proper' meal they had had for some time. Word spread and by the third meal there were 44 and the fourth meal saw a staggering 68 people of various ages, families with very young babies, single people and a couple of elderly people. The meal saw everyone sitting down together to eat, friendships being forged as the young realised the old lived next door and were alone and needed help and the older realising that the young also needed help. A support network amongst themselves being set up.
The Mosque heard about the community meals in Larchfield and asked whether during Ramadan they could also help in the community, they would fund the meal and provide the helpers, so 2 weeks ago, a community meal was duly set up at St. Luke's Church. The first meal there saw 40 people come to eat, a mixture of homeless, needy and helpers from the Mosque, the second meal saw nearly the same, homeless, needy but this time families also. In total 53 people were fed from the second meal.
The atmosphere at the meals is wonderful and gives a real sense of community.
After the last meal during the Ramadan period, St. Luke's and the Mosque have decided that they would like to continue to run the community meal on a monthly basis. Working together to help those in need."