For I was hungry, and you gave me food (Mt 25:35)

By Normandie Wragg, Nugent chief executive

Nugent has been the recipient of a £30,000 grant via the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation (AGF) to continue to provide free food and crisis grants to people experiencing hardship due to Covid-19. The AGF made available a £1 million donation for Catholic charities in England and Wales, with all grant applications overseen by Cardinal Vincent Nichols who issued the following message:
 
 'On 20 May, I received a phone call from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation. During it, I received some startling news that the foundation decided to make an immediate outright donation of £1 million to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for the urgent relief of poverty in the context of the current pandemic.
 
'The intention of the grant was clear: to support front-line action in the alleviation of this current suffering – specifically for food banks, food vouchers and crisis schemes for those most in need. It was therefore stated that the monies received were to be utilised immediately by the charity in the alleviation of poverty between now and the end of September.
 
'So on behalf of so many, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for this exceptional and magnificent donation to such important work. In particular, I thank the Gubay family for their leadership in this remarkable gift which is in addition to the regular charitable giving of the foundation. I do so, not only on behalf of every bishop in England and Wales for the confidence it shows in the effectiveness of the charitable work of our Catholic charities, but much more importantly, on behalf of all those whose hardship will be alleviated by this outstanding generosity.’
 
Since the beginning of lockdown, the Nugent Caritas team and volunteers have run a weekly free food market and hamper delivery service from its base at Epsom Street, Kirkdale. They have responded to people who are in need due to the pandemic. This front-line response, targeting those most in hardship, has to date ensured that 1,789 people have received food; and this includes the delivery of 911 hampers across the Archdiocese.
 
One lady wrote to us: 'While I have been waiting in the queue, I’ve seen parents with young children, close to tears because they could now give their children food. I’ve seen other pensioners who, like me, are thankful that they have a tin of soup, some eggs, a loaf of bread, fresh fruit and vegetables to make meals during the lonely week ahead. I’ve seen carers shopping for those in their care who are too ill or too weak to venture outside their homes – even to the safe environment that you have created.’
 
Along with the food market, a Nugent Crisis Fund has been set up to help individuals or families in a crisis situation because of Covid-19. Schools and parishes can apply for a small grant of approximately £300. Applications are available on the website, or contact nugentcrisisfund@wearenugent.org for more information.
 
On behalf of the beneficiaries, we send our heartfelt thanks to the Gubay Foundation for enabling us to serve and respond with dignity and respect to the most vulnerable in our communities. Their wonderful gift is already making a huge difference to many.