Minister rages against poverty as congregation donates 50 bags of food to primary school

Big hearted members of a Perth church have donated more than 50 bags of groceries to a primary school.

The congregation at Letham St Mark's sprang into action after a teacher turned to them for help because many children and their families are going hungry and struggling to make ends meet.

Minister, Rev Jim Stewart, described the act of compassion and kindness as the "saddest and proudest day" of the 22 years he has served there.

St Mark's Perth
“There are so many families in our community that are hungry and being crushed by poverty." Rev Jim Stewart.

He said the "shadow of injustice is dark" in his parish and elsewhere and too many people are being "crushed by poverty".

Mr Stewart said: "This may only be a short term solution for people but we must tackle the root causes of poverty and do it in a dignified way, affirming that each person is made in God's image and loved by Him.

"We can and must do better.

"I call on all our politicians to put their differences aside and work together to create a system that provides stepping stones to hope and not mill stones of despair."

Mr Stewart said the bags of food, toiletries and household essentials have already been taken to the school and the church is still taking delivery of donations.

Some of the goods will be given to Perth and Kinross Foodbank which supports nearly 6,000 people with three-day food parcels, a 17% rise from last year.

Rev Jim Stewart
“We can and must do better." Rev Jim Stewart

The minister said: "When my friend at the school got in touch with the request it completely floored me.

"It was Sunday night and we had just had a great day in church and then a cold reality of just how bad things are for too many people crashed into my reality."

Courage to speak out

Mr Stewart said he felt anger and compassion in equal measure.

"Anger at a system that had created such despair and compassion for those who needed help," he added.

"There are so many families in our community that are hungry and being crushed by poverty.

"I thank the incredible people at the school for their courage in tackling the need head on and the amazing people of Letham St Mark's for responding with such love."