The Halo Centre
This year, Feed The Hungry have taken on responsibility for a 25,000 square foot warehouse in Coventry, which supports feeding programmes both domestically and internationally. Coventry Foodbank In 2011, after seeing first-hand some of the struggles that families and individuals faced in putting just a basic meal on the table each day, Gavin Kibble started Coventry Foodbank. At the time, it was a low-key operation that supported people facing food insecurity in and around Coventry. But very quickly, the work began to escalate. In 2016, Coventry Foodbank became a ‘Regional Distribution Centre’ – or RDC – a large scale operation that supplied food in 17 foodbanks. It moved into a large premise in Binley, Coventry, where a small number of staff and an army of volunteers worked to collect, sort, store, pick and distribute food. As well as the resources generously donated through local collection points in supermarkets, the RDC started taking bulk donations directly from supermarket chains and wholesale suppliers. Jump forward another 5 years and Coventry Foodbank is now one of the largest foodbanks in the UK. At any one time, there is over 100 tonnes of food being processed through the warehouse. And Covid has only amplified the problem of food insecurity and the need it produces. In January, the Trussell Trust reported a 47% rise in food parcels given out by its volunteers between April and September 2020. Feed The Hungry Throughout 2020, as well as supporting our partners internationally, Feed The Hungry’s work tackling food insecurity domestically has rapidly increased. As a charity, we are uniquely positioned in feeding both at home and overseas. Towards the end of last year, we were approached about taking on the RDC warehouse in Coventry, and after a lot of prayer and discernment at every level of the organisation, we accepted the challenge. Practically, Feed The Hungry is going to continue to do what we firmly believe we have been called to; to share the Gospel and feed the last, the least and the lost. Our work internationally is not being curtailed – it is ever increasing and we are committed to continuing to support the 330,000+ children and young people under the care of our Church partners through a global network. But we also want to be open to what God is doing and where He is leading. The Halo Centre As Feed The Hungry took responsibility for the RDC on 1st February 2021, the building was renamed, ‘The Halo Centre’. The vision for The Halo Centre is a place that can support people, showing them the love of God through practical service, and helping them to find a full life in Jesus. A big part of that is by acting as a hub for food redistribution. We will be sending containers of food from The Halo Centre out to our Church partners overseas, as well as creating a space to be able to do food packing events, as we did before Covid restrictions came in. Coventry Foodbank will continue to operate from The Halo Centre and we are looking at increasing our capacity so that more food can be collected, sorted and redistributed through the warehouse, both in the UK and abroad. But food is not the only part of The Halo Centre; we have a vision to provide holistic support. We want to journey with people who are struggling, allowing them to be able to access support with business mentors, work clubs, clothes recycling, and advice on welfare, debt, health and wellbeing. “The Halo Centre is, at its core, about transforming the most deprived communities; bringing life and hope by walking with hurting people on their journey”, says Gwyn Williams, Feed The Hungry UK’s National and International Operations Director. “We believe that journey is most effectively enacted when the local church acts together. And this is not simply about getting food to people, but a holistic approach to support.” We are excited about what God is going to do through The Halo Centre in the coming months; the people who will be reached and the lives that will be touched and transformed around the world in the name of Jesus. The Halo Centre is a distribution point for both domestic and international aid. In 2020, over 34,000 people received food through Coventry Foodbank. Over 200 volunteers regularly give their time to support Coventry Foodbank. Over 390 tonnes of food was donated to Coventry Foodbank in 2020.