Coronavirus: Meet the Sunderland couple juggling their own lives with efforts to keep others fed
A pastor and his wife have pledged to continue their food bank efforts, with their campaign to help others now more important than ever during the coronavirus outbreak.
When he’s not studying his PhD, lecturing or taking care of his three children, Peter Asuata, alongside wife Aimee, runs a food bank at the Sunderland church where he works as a pastor.
The two food banks they help run at RCCG Living Faith Church in North Bridge Street, will continue to stay open – on Wednesdays at 5.30pm and Sundays at 11am – as long as possible during the coronavirus crisis, supporting those in greatest need.
They are also appealing for donations to boost their stores, while Peter has been working alongside supermarkets and cafes to save food from going to waste.
“Wherever you are, look left, look right, there will always be someone who is worse off than you,” said Peter, who is dad to Aimery 14, Peter Jr, six, and Aimee-Rose, three.
“As a Christian I have a responsibility to help others in need, because that is the core foundation of Christianity, and never has there been a greater need than right now.
“All sorts of people come through our doors, those struggling with substance misuse or homelessness, asylum seekers as well as families struggling with the impact of Universal Credit and now the coronavirus, we never turn anyone away irrespective of their race, religion, or background.”
Peter, who is from a village in Nigeria, came to Sunderland via London and the Netherlands with his family in 2014 to study a Masters in business management at the city’s university, before going on to launch a PhD in Corporate Social Responsibility, which is focusing on how the region’s companies are giving back to society.
Meanwhile, he is working as an academic tutor in the university’s Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, with hopes of becoming a senior lecturer at Sunderland and to also launch a charity shop to support his church.
Associate Professor in Cultural Management, Dr Derek Watson, said: “Peter is testament on how to successfully balance our work-life commitments and his actions are certainly an inspiration to our learning environment.”