A pastor in Burnley distributing food to the local community has spoken of “unprecedented and upsetting” levels of need after nearly a year of coronavirus.
Mick Fleming, of Church on the Street, wept as he told the BBC that in some homes he has visited, hungry children have been “ripping the bags open to get at the food”.
“It’s not all right, that. That’s not all right,” he said.
Fleming has been distributing hot meals for poor members of the local community throughout the pandemic. He echoed what many church leaders have been saying – that the crisis is hitting the poorest the hardest.
“Politicians say it was a leveller, this coronavirus; it’s a lie because if you’re poor you’ve got no chance,” he said.
The pastor said that some of the people who turn up to the food distribution at night have jobs but still cannot make ends meet.
“The need’s massive, absolutely colossal,” he said.
“The level of need here in Burnley I think is unprecedented and it’s upsetting,” he added.
We would like to think that our nation would be exempt from such stories of need but have you checked into your local food bank to see how they are doing? As you see empty shelves in our normally bulging supermarkets, are you beginning to ask questions?
Lockdowns and stay in place orders limit our knowledge and exposure to what is going on around us. The unseen families are almost invisible now. Limited and online worship services do not mean limited outreach. Now more than ever, you and yours need to be looking to your neighbors. You are your brother’s keeper, after all.