Hamper give-aways will help those 'doing it hard'
MANY churches and organisations on the Granite Belt are working hard at the moment to make sure families in need got enough food supplies for Christmas this year.
The Stanthorpe Baptist Church is one of those groups hoping to spread some food, and love, at Christmas time.
Pastor Mark Harvey, who has been with the Stanthorpe Baptist Church for eight months, said the church would give multiple Christmas food hampers away next Saturday.
"In partnership with Foodbank Queensland, we have 50 Christmas food hampers and bags to give away to those doing it hard or in need this Christmas,” Pastor Harvey said.
"It's about trying to provide some Christmas food items (bags) and other food supplies (boxes) for people.
"It's something we are doing every year and it's because we are concerned about the people in the community who might be finding things hard at this time of the year.
"The saddest thing for me is there are a lot of families that are in need and there are children involved.
"I came from Brisbane and our church had a big food program. People would come in with young children that were hungry and that really troubled me.
"There was a high percentage of mothers and fathers that had addictive problems, whether it be alcohol or drugs, and the money would be spent on those things and they weren't buying food. That was really heartbreaking to see.
"The children suffer and its not their choice. We want to help them get a better life.”
Pastor Harvey said Foodbank did a wonderful job helping people all over the state.
"Queensland Foodbank do a great job of providing food resources for people,” he said.
"What I really want to encourage people to do is to support Foodbank.
"There are different ways to support Foodbank.
"Some of the major shopping centres have collection depots where they can drop things off for Foodbank and Foodbank will get them and redistribute them, even if they give financial donations to Foodbank.
"There is only one Foodbank in the whole state of Queensland and there is more than 350 charities that use it. It's really about helping all of our fellow Queenslanders out there.”
Pastor Harvey said he recognised there were people in our community who required help and support.
"As a church we just want to be able to make a difference in our community,” he said.
"A lot of the charities shut down during Christmas. Our church will be open to help people with food if they need food support during Christmas.
"We know that during that time there is a need, especially during the holiday period, there are financial issues for people.
"This is a time where we remember what Christmas is all about - it's about caring for other people. Particularly during this kind of period where we talk about the birth of Jesus, we do want people to see the love of Christ.
"We want to make an impact on the community, we want to make a difference. I think all of the churches want to do that. All the churches in this community want to help those in need.”
In order to help as many people in need as possible there will be one hamper provided per family.
"We want to make sure we reach as many people as we can,” Pastor Harvey said.
"But once the parcels are gone, they're gone - we only have a limited supply.
"We'll probably get more people than we can supply for but what we'll do is we'll monitor it. So this year if we get say 70, if we have to turn people away, we'll know next year to plan for more.
"We really want to help as many people as possible but of course we do have limited supply this year.
"We'll be prepared to give out more next year, for sure.”
The hampers will be available for pick-up on Saturday, December 16 at the Stanthorpe Baptist Church which is located on the corner of Hillcrest and Railway Sts, from 9am until noon or until supplies run out.