Congregation collects 1,300kg of food during three-week fast for Islington Food Bank
- Credit: Archant
A congregation in Tufnell Park has given up two meals a day for three entire weeks – in order to donate food to the hungry.
The fast was organised by Pastor Temi Odejide at the House on the Rock in Tufnell Park Road in the days leading up to Easter. Instead of eating breakfast and lunch, his 200-strong congregation were encouraged to donate the food that they would have eaten to Islington Food Bank.
Although all House on the Rock churches around the world ask their members to undertake an annual fast, this is the first time the Islington church has donated its uneaten food to a food bank.
The congregation has now surpassed its initial target of collecting 1,000kg – with the food so far taken weighing in at a whopping 1,300kg (1.3 metric tons).
“It’s all based on Isaiah Chapter 58 in the Bible, that talks about fasting,” Pastor Temi Odejide told the Gazette.
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“This says that while you’re fasting, you should share your food with the hungry. So we thought: while we’re fasting, let’s give food to the hungry through the food bank this year.”
During their three weeks of fasting, worshippers were encouraged to pray together during the day via conference calls organised by the church. Of course, not everyone was expected to take part, the Pastor added.
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“Everybody has their own limits, so some people didn’t do the whole 21 days. Other people had health conditions and they were exempted.
“But you can still fast in other ways, like denying yourself TV, and you can still donate food.”
Naturally, the fast wasn’t all plain sailing.
“The first few days were the most challenging,” Deborah Ajayi, who fasted with her family, told the Gazette.
“But because it was consecutive over 21 days, it got easier.”
Fellow worshipper Suzanne Michaelides, who volunteers every Saturday at the food bank, added: “It’s easier when you do it together as a church. It’s been challenging, but it also gives you more time to pray and be closer to God.”