Community Pantry and Hardship Fund

Community Pantry and Hardship Fund

Community Pantry and Hardship Fund
of the Benefice of Stoke-by-Nayland with Leavenheath and Polstead, and Nayland with Wissington

To donate to the Community Pantry/Hardship Fund:
Account name: Community Pantry & Hardship Fund
Sort code: 30-99-50 (Lloyds Bank)
Account Number: 24195560

Community Pantries:

St James’ Nayland West Porch
St Mary-the-Virgin’s Wissington South porch (only books)
St Mary’s Stoke-by-Nayland South porch
St Matthew’s Leavenheath entrance left corner
St Mary’s Polstead North Porch

Our Community Pantries make packaged food and other household necessities available for anyone to take freely. They are the rural version of Food Banks: in villages it is not feasible to deploy the administrative effort involved in Food Banks, and in villages the anonymity inherent in the community pantry is important in a way which it is less so in towns.

The four community pantries are in the four churches of their villages. This is for pragmatic reasons: initially we looked for alternatives to Polstead and Leavenheath churches, given their remoteness, but alternatives were not forthcoming. In the event those community pantries have been as well used as the others. Remoteness appears to have important advantages: it is clear that beneficiaries value anonymity highly (often choosing to visit at night).

Hardship Fund:
Initially Hardship Fund grants were made on the basis of the personal knowledge of, or personal approaches to, our two ordained priests, Revd. Stéphane Javelle and Revd. Val Armstrong. Then grants were offered, via the Primary Schools, to families on free school meals. Latterly we have encouraged the schools, with their pastoral knowledge, to identify specific individual needs not met by the statutory services.

We have come to feel that this approach is important.The community pantry & hardship fund have miniscule financial resources compared with government, and none of government’s resources of professional staff and compulsory powers. It makes no sense for us to do the same as government however, we do have advantages over government. We do not suffer the constraints of closely specified procedures and we have local knowledge. Therefore we can operate on the basis of trust, hence very swiftly and confidentially, and of addressing rare or novel or inconspicuous forms of need. The Walsh Trust, an ancient Nayland charity, has confided their income to us to distribute in line with their Governing Document.

Where we suspect beneficiaries have intractable problems we intend to refer them to the professional advisors of Christians Against Poverty.