Leeds church dishes up 10,000 meals to vulnerable people
published on 20 Apr 2021
Leeds Central Salvation Army church dished up its 10,000th hot takeaway meal to people who have struggled to feed themselves and their families during the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit many support services offering emergency food were forced to close but the corps (church) led by Majors Cliff and Joy Allchin began preparing hot daily meals. Those helped included young families finding it difficult to make ends meet, as well as homeless people and those with mental health or addiction issues.
Major Cliff Allchin said: “So many people have found this last year particularly tough and we’ve heard some sad stories from those who are really struggling to make ends meet. Recently, we supported a family of four with hot takeaway food after they were down to a tin of beans to feed them all. It’s heart-breaking.”
The church has been helping people such as Eleanor, who arrived in the UK from Spain at Christmas with her four children. She had hoped to find work and provide a better future for her family but struggled to find employment. Leeds Central Salvation Army provided food parcels to help keep her family fed, in addition to support given by Migrant Action and Learning Partnerships. Without the emergency food The Salvation Army provided, Eleanor would not have been able to feed her children over the past three months.
Major Allchin said: “While as a church we haven’t been able to meet for worship during the various lockdowns, The Salvation Army has been able to play its part in reaching out to vulnerable people in practical ways. It seemed appropriate that we served up our 10,000th hot takeaway meal during the Easter period; a time when we, as a church, would ordinarily gather together to reflect on God’s love and sacrifice for us all.
“We might only be able to offer people a simple meal but we hope that they take from that a reminder of God’s love and care for them as individuals as well as the offer of support and hope for better days ahead.”
The church’s volunteers served up the 10,000th meal – a celebration roast dinner – during the Easter period. This local milestone comes as The Salvation Army marks distributing two million meals nationally since May 2020.
Hot takeaway meals and food parcels are distributed from The Salvation Army in Nile Street on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11.30 am to 1 pm.