Free Meals Project
2015 is going to be a big year for Dumfries Northwest Church. From 1 February the Free Meals Project will be seven days a week. We’ll be offering free meals every day of the week including Sundays. The last few years have shown us that poverty is far more complex than simple economics. The whole shape of the project will change and we’ll be bringing in extra Drop In sessions on two different weekday mornings as well as the Friday Afternoon Drop In which we run in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service. In addition to these two Drop Ins, there will be a Knitting Project which will run initially on Tuesday afternoons and anyone with the skills (or desire to learn) to knit will be welcome to be part of this. Apart from providing company for those involved this will be an important adjunt to our Free Clothing Project which operates in parallel with the Free Meals Project. The successful ‘meal and a film’ evenings we have offered in the past and during this Christmas season will continue as another expression of the Free Meals Project idea which seeks to meet and to serve everyone wherever they are. The Thursday afternoon service which offers something vitally important to those who are semi-housebound also stems from the Matthew 25 vision which informs all that we do. Ministry in this area will also be extended and developed.
At the moment, the Free Meals Project offers a free, hot, healthy meal, lunch-time and evening, Monday to Saturday, 12:00 and 16:30, and food-parcels are available to anyone who needs them on Sundays. The Free Meals Project runs 52 weeks a year including Christmas and New Year. The ‘Family Meals Project’ is integrated into it too. Parents are welcome to bring their children. We are responding to a very real need in the community.
This project is unique in the area, not simply because of the number of meals it offers but because it is driven by a theological imperative which comes from Matthew 25,
‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
We do not evangelise or see the Free Meals Project as an outreach opportunity. We have come to understand it as sacramental. The sharing of real food sanctifies what we do symbolically in worship. This is not faith in practice. This is faith as practice.
It is expensive to run this project. While we are very grateful to the NHS, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Project and to many other organisations and individuals for financial support, the project is independent. No-one receives a salary. It runs at a very significant cost to Dumfries Northwest Church and we depend entirely upon those within and outside of the congregation to offer financial support. A donation of as little as £10.00 will enable us to do so much for people in the community.
You can donate by sending cheques to
Dumfries Northwest Church Office
Free Meals Project
Please note that a donation to the Free Meals Project will only be used in the Free Meals Project. Your donation will not be used to finance other areas of the Church’s work.