In the heart of the Ragworth estate in Stockton, we run a Community Grocery in partnership with ‘The Message’, where for just £4 you can fill up your cupboards with everything you need to feed your family.
For the past 3 years, our staff and volunteers have been down at the grocery 5 days a week, with a smile and some hope for all those who are in need. Let us share with you what has been going on…
We are incredibly grateful for what God continues to do in us and through us at The Community Grocery. It is an honour to be available for our local community. We are finding more and more that our role here is not just to provide food, but to provide a community that is a beacon of hope.
Each week we meet new families who are in need of food, but as they come back week after week, we are enjoying friendships. Our regular customers now know that we will be here, day after day, available for a chat. The lasting effects of the pandemic are not just increased economic poverty, but increased social disconnection and loneliness too and we love that we get to be part of bringing connection back into people’s lives. We often find that people just want to ‘hang out’ and it is great to be able to take the time to chat. This often leads to us offering to pray with people as they feel able to share their needs and struggles.
A few weeks ago, one of our regulars re-appeared after a time away. He said “I’ve just come in to thank you”. One day, a few months back, we had told him about Three13 and he had not only got himself on to a course, but had got a job and was now doing better and that’s why we hadn’t seen him! We were thrilled that we had not only been able to be there when he needed us, but we had been able to help him get back on his feet again too.
We are so thankful for all our brilliant volunteers, who give a few hours each week to staffing the Grocery. We are really enjoying getting to know them and feel honoured to be able to share our lives and our faith with them.
God continues to be good to us and somehow, the food keeps on coming in! We continue to have enough to stock the grocery each week and to provide for those who are in need of food for their families.
If you would like to be part of how God is impacting lives down at the Grocery – then here is how you can help…
- Buy a little extra – If you are able, you could drop in a food donation to The Oakwood Centre (where we have a collection box) any day of the week.
- Pray – keep praying for the team, for food provision and of course for our Community Grocery customers!
- Volunteer – Could you give a few hours a week to make a big difference to somebody? Get in touch today to find out more.
18 May 2023