Founded during the COVID19 pandemic, partner organisation The Message Trust developed the Grocery to help support families with the financial impact of the pandemic.

Through partnership with local supermarkets, the Community Grocery is able to offer a wide range of food for the whole family to choose from, at a fraction of the cost, meaning you can save money, help the environment and reduce food waste all in one.

But it’s not just about the food. There’s also a range of free extra support on offer at the grocery should you ever need it. Support like job clubs, money management support, healthy cooking classes and much more.

Our Ragworth Community Grocery manager, Andy, updates us on how things are going. He writes…

“We appear to be entering a difficult season as a Society, which we at the Grocery are really starting to witness. As the cost of living soars, the need for support becomes more widespread. My heart for The Grocery at this time is for us to help and bless as many families as possible with regard to not only food but also as a place to chat and connect with others.

We are definitely seeing and conversing with many who are finding life hard and challenging at this time so anything we can do is amazing. It also gives us many prayer and invitational opportunities. On average, we are seeing around 80 people a day, which is a marked increase on last September time when it was more like 45-50. This increase has been steady since October.

I’m giving thanks to God for so much…Bringing people to us, increasing food supplies, giving us opportunities to pray and share the good news of Jesus with our members and for just being awesome and faithful in all that we’re (He) is doing here.

The answers to prayer have been incredible.

I think the challenges we face are very similar to what all ministries face in that we have a lot of people coming across our radar and not that many volunteers/people serving within the Ministry to minister to them as we would like. We really need people who love Jesus and are ready and willing to be used by him as we meet with those who need his hope and his help. There are many people we are seeing regularly who don’t know Jesus and for that to change we need more of our wonderful Church family to be around and witnessing!

I think I would just like to encourage Church that the Grocery is an amazing vehicle to reach people, to forge relationships, to be relevant in their lives and has also massively has an impact on the life of The Shack. All of which present us with challenges and massive opportunities as we move forward into this next season.