There are many questions which we often get asked when we go anywhere to talk about the work of FAITH.
Ever since it started, FAITH has been funded by voluntary donations, primarily from individual Christians and local Churches.
In 2013 however, due to the economic situation and the end of Crisis Loans, Reading Borough Council made us a grant towards running ReadiFood.
Donations increasingly come from many local businesses and charities and are used as effectively as possible to directly support those people we are seeking to serve. Many of those local companies also donate to us in kind through volunteering days, usually helping sort food, but sometimes more specifically through technical support. We are for instance grateful to Veritas for donating the employee time to design this website. Also to Oracle for the design of our Food Bank database.
We endeavour to be as efficient in our use of money as possible but inevitably have salaries, rent, utilities and vehicle running costs, etc. to pay for. Our biggest single expense is the rent of the warehouse.
The majority of those who work with us on our street outreach and night shelter work are indeed Christians. However many who help whether at Supermarkets or in the Food Bank warehouse and on parcel deliveries are not.
If you have a heart for the poor and marginalised you are welcome. All we ask is that you complete an application form that states that you understand that we are a “Christian” charity that you agree not to bring the charity into disrepute by your words or action.
Hopefully you clicked on this out of curiosity and with a slight smile on your face, because you had already guessed that of course we help absolutely anyone no matter what their background, beliefs, colour, etc. etc.
One of our biggest referring agencies for food parcels is the Probation Service whereby we are helping, mainly men, who have recently come out of prison.
Our street work is specifically aimed to help those who really have nothing at all except addictions. We do not judge. We are motivated by compassion and care.
‘Poverty’ is obviously a relative word. In some parts of the world, it means that you may well not live to see tomorrow. In the western world, whilst poverty may not have such immediate and shocking results, there are still people who live on incomes which barely allow them to keep warm and fed.
In a prosperous town such as Reading, the divide is quite noticeable. Jobs generally pay well, house prices have soared, and the price of food has sadly soared.
In contrast, a single parent family surviving on state benefit can afford none of the luxuries which they see around them every day.
Sometimes this is the fault of the individual who has chosen to spend their money unwisely, but more often, it is a combination of factors outside of their control which causes their descent into poverty.
For example, local shops generally charge more than the large supermarkets, but without transport local shops is where the shopping has to be done. Most have gas cards and electric keys, which is generally the most expensive way to buy fuel, even though they are paying in advance for their gas and electric whilst most of us pay our bills in arrears. An inability to provide their children with all the things that they see on television or that their friends may have, means that many go into debt to try and fulfil what they see as their children’s needs especially around Christmas time. The debt they get into is often at interest rates which are absolutely appalling. Whilst most of us may get a bank loan at up to 10% or so, some of these families are paying loans with interest of perhaps as much as 50% or more. Pay day loans have only added to the problem.
So yes, poverty does exists, even in a prosperous town such as Reading, and we are doing what we can to try and help those struggling with such issues.
This section will hopefully answer some of them, just click on the links above.
Without doubt working with or for FAITH is not easy.
Our clients are demanding and have needs way beyond the average man or woman.