On Monday The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby and his wife Caroline returned to the cathedral to open a new Food store for Hope+ Foodbank.
The store has been fitted out in response to the growing pressures on existing arrangements for collecting and distributing food for the many Foodbank clients. With distribution centres at St Vincent’s and St Brides as well as collection points across the city – including the Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Parish Church, the mosque, the Quaker Meeting House, Liverpool Cathedral – Hope+ had outgrown its temporary arrangements. The new store, alongside its van, will enable them to continue to support clients from across the city centre.
Hope+ opened its doors in February 2013 and has since provided food for over 18,000 people. From its start it has tried offer more than just food. With a model recognised nationally as good practice Hope+ offers, through its partners, a network of additional support in areas such as housing, debt and benefit advice, and assistance in finding and preparing for employment.
They also see a number of their guests return as volunteers. This enables them to give something back while offering a platform to go on to other work.
Nadine Daniel, Project Manager commented “we’re grateful to all those who have helped get this store ready, the cathedral’s maintenance team and our hard working volunteers. We have a massive job to do and this store will enable us to efficiently get food to more deserving clients.”
Revd Canon Cynthia Dowdle said “although it was delightful to welcome Archbishop Justin and Caroline, it is a tragic indictment that we still have to be offering this service after two years. It is a testament to the love and care of all volunteers, sponsors and supporters that we are able to feed ever increasing amounts of needy clients. However we still pray and work for the day when justice reigns and our work becomes unnecessary”