The appeal for 1000 tins of food by St John’s Church in Shildon came to a dramatic close on Sunday night (October 22nd) as several young people raced to count the vast numbers received before the 7pm deadline.
The 1000 can appeal was enthusiastically supported by Shildon’s Primary Schools, (Timothy Hackworth Primary School, St. John’s CofE (aided) Primary School, and Thornhill Primary School) with tins of food bought into the church by the bag full.
Shildon Alive (A Saint John’s Church project) established with Big Lottery funding in 2013 has seen a steady increase of those in food poverty over the years with over 6000 meals distributed throughout 2015. “This summer,” commented local vicar Revd David Tomlinson, “We saw the number of families with children needing basic food support double, while Shildon was one of only 12 local authority areas in County Durham that saw its economic fortunes continue to decline over the last three years.”
However, while this might appear a bleak picture the community has also seen an outpouring of generosity and mutual support that has exceeded all expectations. In appealing for 1000 tins the church was hoping to see food support for those in poverty secured for the next couple of months.
What was actually collected however was more than double this with a final total, announced by 15 year old Megan McTearnan at the Sunday evening Café Church as 2042 tins ranging from fine steak to baked beans. “This is an amazing result” said Revd Tomlinson when the applause and cheering subsided, “it is a perfect example of local people, looking out for local people, Shildon has much to be proud of.” As the 6pm Sunday night Café Church drew to an end an army of volunteers armed with carrier bags started to bag the food ensuring that no one will go hungry in Shildon this winter.
Submitted by St John’s Shildon