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heart rock cafe


As summer turns to autumn, St John's and St Monica's churches in Palmers Green are continuing to feed the hungry.

To mark the changing of the seasons, the Summer Cafe at St John's becomes the Heart Rock Cafe. Guests can take away a hot meal and a packed lunch for later in the day between 12 noon and 2pm on Fridays. The distribution point is at the entrance to the Parish Centre, which is the modern building at the back of the church.

St Monica's continues to feed guests on Mondays, between 3 and 5pm on Mondays, providing fresh food items to take home, including fresh fruit and vegetables. The distribution point is the entrance to St Monica's Large Hall (the former Intimate Theatre).

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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #5551 12 Sep 2020 19:57

An article on the Independent Catholic News website has some additional information about the pop-up food stall at St Monica's church.

The St Monica's food distribution service started in April, along with similar schemes at Christ the King church in Cockfosters and St Martin de Sales in Tottenham. In the first month alone, the three churches provided enough food for more than 5000 meals. The two churches have now finished their schemes, but St Monica's is continuing to provide a lifeline to hungry people. All three churches were initially supplied with food by the Felix Project. Because the food donations are generally received and handed out on the same day, it's possible to supply more fresh food than a typical foodbank.

St Monica's also deliver food to people's homes and host a drop-in lunch. The stall has seen consistently high numbers and supports around 300 individuals each week.

The article points out that as Covid-induced unemployment rises, the need for emergency food supplies will continue. Families can receive fresh food at St Monica's with no questions asked.

Gerry Bell, the co-ordinator of the St Monica's food stall, is quoted as speaking of the joy of seeing lives transformed: "We had an uplifting moment when a homeless lady in her early twenties returned after a few weeks away. She has got a job as a health care assistant and found a place to live. She appreciated the support given to her."

Caritas Westminster and the three parishes have expressed thanks to the Felix Project, FareShare and local councils, as well as various local supermarkets for providing food. In particular, on Easter Monday, Morrisons Palmers Green donated 170 Chocolate Easter eggs to add to the food bags.


The photograph shows the food stall co-ordinator at St Monica's, Gerry Bell.
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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #5558 16 Sep 2020 20:33

A third report sheds more light on the need for the food distributed by the three Westminster diocese churches.

The priest at the Tottenham church is quoted as saying that it was often “difficult to hear the tragic situations” people were in. “A number of them were single mothers with two to three children to feed and dependent on Universal Credit alone and some without income at all,” he reported; “another lady was made redundant and was heavily pregnant.”

The Tottenham food stall closed at the end of July, having helped an average of 75 people and their families each week. Support is continuing in the form of food vouchers and non-perishable food. The Cockfosters stall closed at the end of August, after helping 15 people and their families. In Palmers Green, the stall is continuing to help around 300 people by delivering food to people's homes and hosting a drop-in lunch.

The Trussel Trust is forecasting a "massive" increase in food bank use over the autumn and winter and predicts that 670,000 additional people will be classed as destitute by the end of 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic around half of food bank users had never previously visited one, however, with furlough schemes ending, and unemployment rising to heights never before seen in the UK, this winter is likely to see even more people falling into food poverty.