Romanian visitors learn from Harborough Food Bank

Three Romanian visitors to Market Harborough recently visited the new premises of the Jubilee Foodbank, which is supported by Churches Together in Harborough, to compare notes.

Romanian visitors at the Foodbank
Pictured left to right at the Jubilee Foodbank are Emma Fellows (volunteer), Romanians Tünde Takács, Marcsi Henter and Rev György Henter, Colin Sole (volunteer) and Liz Mills (Chair of the Jubilee Foodbank).

They were in the country as guests of Market Harborough Congregational Church, which last year entered into a partnership with the Citadel Reformed Church in Târgu Mureș, in the Hungarian-speaking area of Transylvania in Romania.

The Citadel Church, which regularly sees 200 people at its services and has some 3,000 registered to it, runs a substantial food bank operation and also provides medicines which are often beyond the pocket of ordinary and especially elderly Romanians.

While in Harborough the trio also visited other local charitable ventures including the national headquarters of the Torch Trust, which works with people who have sight loss. Said Congregational Church Minister Rev. Stephen Haward, “It has been a privilege to host our Transylvanian partners for this short visit, and an opportunity for our church to learn a little Hungarian!  We look forward to further contact as we support their programmes and learn from one another.”

The Jubilee Foodbank is a ministry of Harborough Congregational Church and is supported by Churches Together in Harborough. It assists needy families who are referred to it from social services, Citizens Advice, GP surgeries and the Town Council. Families are given sufficient food for three days, usually up to three times in a year.

An independent service, it started with two referrals in 2012, and now regularly receives 100 each month. The increased demand has required the food bank to rent larger premises to store its stock, all of which comes from individual donations placed in collection points in supermarkets and churches.

Chair of the Jubilee Foodbank, Liz Mills, says that “Helping people in food poverty is a common purpose. Both Market Harborough's people and the Citadel Reformed Church in Târgu Mureș see many people in need. Without local organisations and people supporting, both food banks could not help so many people and families.”

Having received financial help from several local charities to fund the move, the food bank is now seeking to raise additional funds from individuals and organisations to maintain its rental commitments. It is run entirely by some 40 volunteers who sort the donations of non-perishable products and pack and deliver appropriate parcels to designated points in town for collection by the families.

Information about the Jubilee Foodbank and its current needs is available at www.jubileefoodbank.info.