Faith in Action – Episode 2

Sarah Chapman – Faith amid poverty


Hello, I’m Richard Sargeant and This is Faith in Action, a new podcast to discuss how faith affects the way we live and work today.

Faith is often seen as a personal comfort, and private relationship with God. But the Church today is deeply involved in practical actions to alleviate poverty and to advocate for the powerless. For example, food banks, which served over a million meals last year. Mostly, these have a Christian foundation, Christian management, and work in partnership with local churches.

It is a pleasure to be joined by Sarah Chapman, the co-founder of the Wandsworth foodbank in London. We’ve come to talk about the importance of faith amid poverty.

So Sarah, how big an issue is food poverty today?

I think it’s a very big issue for those who are currently experiencing it. In a country as rich as ours, any family struggling to put food on the table is a real issue, it is a real problem

Is it getting worse?

Stats show that inequality in London is getting wider. In Wandsworth borough where we the gap between the richest and the poorest is very visible and tangible. In the years we’ve been open, from the first to the second year there was a 30% increase in the number of people we helped in that year, and we tended to help more people more often within that as well, so Food poverty is lasting longer for the family in the situation – it’s taking longer to be resolved.

Are foodbanks the right answer? Don’t food handouts create a culture of dependence?

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