We cannot just sit back and do nothing in cost of living crisis, says mayor
The current cost of living crisis has affected people from all walks of life and faiths.
Around the different communities across the region, there have been stories of people struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, and an increase in use of food banks and other places offering help.
Within these communities though there have also been initiatives and projects from places of faith that have helped people to find what they need to live.
Many of the food banks from around the county have their beginnings as being church based organisations, some are still held in churches.
In Telford and Wrekin, one large organisation which is helping out all members of the community is the Telford and Wrekin Interfaith Council.
Mayor of Telford Raj Mehta is also chair of the group which has a stated aim of be an organisation which welcomes all faiths and provides an inclusive community within the borough.
Last year they supported Telford Crisis Support –who operate the main food bank in the town – by providing 11,232 food parcels, enough to provide 164,480 meals and more than 25 per cent tailored for specific cultural or dietary requirements.
Telford Crisis Support themselves provided families with more than 100,000 meals along with an extra 16,000 breakfast packs, ensuring a nutritious and healthy start to the day for school pupils.
Councillor Mehta said: “People are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table at the moment despite the fact they may be working. They may be able to pay the bills at the start of the month but then, wham – they don’t have any money left. I have seen many people literally in tears. We can’t just sit back and do nothing it needs a community effort and an organisation like ours has the volunteers and the contacts to try and help.
“As a group we do as the title suggests, bring all faiths today and help them out when needed with help from out partners like Telford and Wrekin Council whose support has been crucial. I would like to thank them and also place my support behind the Shropshire Star’s Feed a Family campaign because it is only by things like this, and the help of people living in the borough that we will come through this.”
Major Christian leaders in the region, the Bishop of Lichfield, Rt Rev. Dr Michael Ipgrave, and the Bishop of Worcester, Rt. Rev. Dr John Inge, both also offered their own support for the campaign.
The Diocese of Lichfield covers Shropshire, which includes the Bishop of Shrewsbury Sarah Bullock. A spoesman for the diocese said: “Many churches across our diocese, including those in the Black Country, Shropshire and Staffordshire, are already on the front lines of serving and working with their communities, with many hosting food banks, Places of Welcome and other practical initiatives of support.
“As energy bills and inflation increase, we know things are going to get harder and initiatives like the Shropshire Star’s Feed A Family are more needed than ever.
“I urge everyone who can to support Feed A Family by donating to food banks in their area.”
To access support and food parcels after 5pm weekdays and all weekend, call 07895 395226 or 07545 023519.
For full details go to interfaithtelford.org.