Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
James 2 vs 15-17
Did you know that there are 4.3 million children in the UK who are living in poverty?* That number is big and overwhelming and it’s hard to comprehend the reality that it describes. But that number represents the individual stories of so many families who are struggling below the breadline; worrying about bills, scraping together enough to put food on the table, managing worry, fear and isolation on a daily basis.
The long-term effects of growing up in poverty are far-reaching and severe; from a negative impact on education outcomes which results in poor job prospects, to reduced physical health and mental wellbeing. And, right now, here in the short-term, children are living every day with anxiety, fear, stigma and potentially inadequate nutrition.
It’s a desperate situation that is reaching a crisis point in the UK today and as the Bible encourages us in the book of James; what good is our faith if we do not see these needs in our communities and respond to them with good deeds?
At Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) we believe every child has a right to healthy food and our mission is to equip local churches to respond to the needs of poverty among families in their local community- by sharing a meal. School holidays should be full of rest, fun and family time, but for many families living on a low income, they are a time of extra stress and anxiety as there are more meals to find and entertainment to provide.
A Make Lunch club is a safe and fun place for families to go in the school holidays. There is plenty of food, in the form of a hot and healthy meal shared together, children are entertained with fun and engaging activities which stimulate their minds and bodies, and adults are given the opportunity to meet with other parents and be part of a caring community.
Churches are well placed in the centre of local communities to provide a place of hope, a place of support, a place to belong. Our church communities have so much to offer those who are struggling in our towns, villages and cities but we have to do more than say “Be Blessed,” we have to actually BE a blessing!
As more churches seek to find ways to bless and journey alongside their local communities TLG are excited to equip and journey alongside those churches; training, supporting, sharing our expertise and creating a network of churches who are bringers of Hope to struggling families all across the UK.
To find out more about running a TLG Make Lunch Club at your church visit:
*Households Below Average Income, Statistics on the number and percentage of people living in low-income households for financial years 1994/95 to 2019/20, Table 4.3tr. Department for Work and Pensions, 2021