ChristCentral Web
King's Foodbank Darlington

We wanted to start a series of articles which focussed in on some social action projects which are going on in our nation. Many of these will have been launched by from churches who are part of ChristCentral, others will be of interest because of the sort of work they are doing or the sort of business they are modelling. You can find more articles in this series here. If you would like to see your project featured click here to find out more

King’s Foodbank Darlington


King’s foodbank was established after God spoke to a member of our congregation about feeding the poor. After about 18 months of frustration (as we know that God’s timing is always perfect!) the Foodbank was formed on 8th February 2012. It was manned by volunteers and food was sourced free from a warehouse in Eaglescliffe that were supported by HIS Food Charity. At the time there were no Foodbanks in Darlington and biblically we will always have the poor and needy in our communities. When you step out in obedience and faith, you can be assured that God will be faithful.

As King’s were already delivering this vital service to the community and had access to food, the local council then came on board in April 2013 (pilot scheme) to deliver crisis food support for people in food poverty in Darlington. We initially received £42K for a period of 3 years, which supported 2 part time wages and pallets of food. This scheme ended in Sept 2016 due to government cut backs. But God has been extremely faithful, and the Foodbank has grown from strength to strength, you can never ‘out give’ God. We have been blessed to be a blessing.

During this time, we built up good relationships with supermarkets to receive goods earmarked for land fill and this has supported the Foodbank in an incredible way ever since. We are always raising awareness of the Foodbanks needs with individuals and businesses alike, it puts the Foodbank on the map and draws in volunteers from companies and businesses which is a great support as we rely on volunteers and they are priceless to us. We believe that ‘iron sharpens iron’ and everyone has a gifting that needs to be encouraged out of them, it also builds confidence and social skills, it is also a great way to show everyone the love of Jesus through our actions.

The Foodbank is open Tuesday to Friday from 9am – 5pm for referrals and support services to collect emergency bags of food, and open to members of the public Wed & Fri 1 – 3pm. We collect donations most days of the week and donations come in daily. The days we are open to the public, our set up incorporates unpacking donations, making up boxes of food, making soup for day, putting tea, biscuits and cake out for everyone. We like to make it as welcoming as possible to all that come in.

We don’t judge anyone for accessing our service and treat everyone equally. We are here to bring them a little bit of Hope, Dignity, Respect and Acceptance back into their lives and to show them that someone truly does care, about their need, and that their needs are met, whether it is for food, clothing, bedding, even if it is for a short period of time.

Our focus is to lead people to Jesus.


I have just read Scattered Servants by Alan Scott and felt very challenged by it. Someone asked him how big the church was and he said ”100K, they just don’t know it yet!”….such truth.

Our vision is for the Foodbank to be at the heart of the community and to continue to feed the poor and needy and the ultimate vision is to bring as many people to the Lord as possible. People need food but their greatest need is Jesus. Most Foodbanks are set up by Churches and Churches are at the heart of the community. It is a way of bringing people to faith in a gentle, caring loving way. The way to Jesus is simple, not religious, if it was founded upon deep theology none of us would stand a chance. We have led many people to the Lord through the Foodbank and introducing them to Alpha.

I didn’t initially set up this project but after been in the church service one Sunday morning and listening to a call for volunteers for the Foodbank and Gods vision, I had an overwhelming sense in my heart that God was calling me forth to be part of the vision.


We are currently supported by the Church for 2 part time workers and approximately 25 regular volunteers and hundreds of volunteers through companies and businesses in Darlington throughout the year. Volunteers are vital to help us man and deliver the service, we just could not manage without them at all. We would love to be open to the public 3 days per week as we were when the council supported us, but this would be all down to funding as we would need further paid hours for this. Many people we have helped want to give something back and so offer their time volunteering for us, which is great for us and for them too.

Our regular team who work behind the scenes are the ones who help us to pick up donations daily. This consists of myself and 3 other volunteers.

We are always looking for funding to support the Foodbank with specific needs or wages. We raise awareness by doing fundraising days at local supermarkets throughout the year and have a Facebook account where we raise awareness and use the local radio, paper to deliver stories. We are supported by our church by way of funding for wages and donations and use of the building facilities and amenities. We have our own area of the Church for use by the Foodbank.

We are currently engaging with other support agencies and the local council and local MP to build up a network of support for clients who access the Foodbank as we feel that early intervention is an integral part of the service that we deliver, and we want to see people move out of that imminent need for food support and poverty. We are currently building relationships with Citizens Advice Bureau, 700 Club, First Stop, Credit Union and others. Some of which now engage and hold sessions within the Foodbank. We feel that everyone deserves to be treated with empathy and respect and have a reasonable level of living standards and this is not been met in this current climate due to benefit changes and higher costs of living. Our aim is to raise awareness with the local council and MP with testimonies of the impact of welfare reform changes.

We have received grants for wages, flooring, strong collapsible crates, garden plot where we grow vegetables for the Foodbank.

People can support the Foodbank by raising awareness of our needs, fundraising, volunteering. We use a local Charity ‘Darlington Cares’ who businesses can go through to support with volunteers.

We have a Credit Union account where people can donate money in to and we access to purchase long-life milk.

Obstacles: When we initially set up, we either ran out of food or volunteers, and on occasions we have been challenged by not being able to make up a well-balanced box of food with the 7 meals in, but by the grace of God, and good stewarding of His resources our store house is full, and we have outgrown our current facilities and have had to find areas within the Church to store food donations. But we do want to be a river and not a reservoir, storing food up, so we have been able to support other Foodbanks and food support services in the local area with food upon request. Praise God.

We also kept going by raising our fundraising days within the supermarkets at times of challenge. We believe that as we steward well all that God is giving us and give it out, then He will meet all our needs. It is all about Faith and believing and trusting in the Lord that He will provide. This has been proven as on occasions some of our stock has been reduced to the bare minimum and the following week God has brought an abundance of what we need in. This has also been a great way to show to non-Christian volunteers that God will provide, and He does., this always keeps me going… Faith & Trust. God always exceeds my expectations.

Evangelistic/Social good: When I first gave my life to Jesus in 2011, I was very shy and introvert at sharing my faith although inside I just wanted to shout it out to everyone I met. God has grown me in every area of my life and given me so much confidence in Him and myself that I just cannot stop sharing and talking about Him. We have opportunities to share our Faith and testimonies within the Foodbank and pray with people. I also do talks to Schools, churches, and support Charities and talk about the goodness of God.

I see the Foodbank as both – evangelical and showing the love of Jesus through our actions. What greater way to show the love of Jesus and let His light shine into the darkness, what a blessing.

Our love should not be just words and talk, it must be true love, which shows itself in ACTION.

I call it ‘Love in Action’

Reflection: Wow I have been completely transformed since starting my journey, Jesus has given me so much empathy and compassion for the lost, the hurting, the needy, the people in darkness and bound with addictions. It was a difficult journey and very challenging at times and on may occasions I questioned God as to “is this where you really want me to be, cos I’m struggling, I’m hurting, I’m been suppressed. But God has been ever faithful showed me that I was in a dry season of preparation and growing. Some of the greatest leaders have been in the same place! He showed me how to lead well and to see the ‘Gold’ in people, which is treasure and to be treasured!

I have been met by leadership challenges and found that the only way I have on occasions listened to God is when He has turned a situation around upon me and I have had to learn from it and believe me it is like getting a kick where it hurts, but it worked. I have learned to spend time with God more and rest in His presence and to pray about everything.

Our vision for the future is to be the best that we can be as there will always be a need for food in this present climate and for the Foodbank to be a place of welcome and family to the people in the community and be a place of safety and trust, we want to grow the Kingdom of God.

I would challenge people to follow their dreams that God has given them and step out of their comfort zones and trust and have faith in God that when the step out in obedience and not go in their own strength but God’s. As we have a well-established model, I would ask people to come along and see what we do as its easy to talk about what we do but hard to imagine it up and running. We did train people up in our community to run the same project and put Foodbanks in different areas within the town to make it easily accessible for people in food poverty, and they all came under King’s Church umbrella and we were a network, but when I took over as manager in 2016, I felt the Lord say that we were to loosen control of the other Foodbanks as they had become self-supporting and He was giving us a new name. Most towns and communities now offer some form of food support within their boroughs and are supported by mostly faith groups. I would be happy to support any churches if their vision was to set up a Foodbank if God spoke to them.

Closing: I have had to learn to relax and not be busy and now love to spend my time reading faith/spiritual books and soaking in God’s presence with worship music.