Volunteers are needed to help serve families at Hackney Food Bank’s lunch club this Easter Holidays. They are also appealing for food donations.
School holidays are tough for families experiencing poverty who, without the help of free school lunches, are faced with an extra meal to provide each day.
So the Food Bank runs a lunch club at the Florence Bennett Centre on weekdays to make sure locals don’t go hungry. They’re appealing for volunteers to help with serving, laying tables and washing up between 11am and 3pm until April 18.
Melanie Rochford, Director of Hackney Food Bank, said: “We’ve seen a big increase in the number of people needing help this year. That’s due largely to the rollout of Universal Credit. Many people have had their benefits stopped, others face long waits to receive benefits and in the meantime are accruing considerable debts.
“Many employers still aren’t paying the Living Wage and Zero Hours contracts mean many locals don’t have any certainty over their incomes.
“Another major factor is a lack of social housing, which means landlords are getting away with charging extortionate rents and that’s sending people spiralling into worse poverty.
The amount of housing benefit people in Hackney receive simply doesn’t keep pace with market prices. Our food bank provides vital support to people in need – but it’s a sticking plaster, unless we tackle poverty strategically, by looking at the wider problems pushing people into this situation and improving the information we give them.”
(Lunch Club at Hackney Foodbank)
The Food Bank is working closely with Food Poverty Alliance, a new initiative funded by Hackney Council and Food Power to facilitate better collaboration between the various charitable organisations working to alleviate poverty and the Trussell Trust is becoming more vocal with those shaping policy around poverty.
Melanie said the shortage of suitable local authority homes means many families are being housed out of borough. With parents keen to maintain links with their communities and determined to keep their children at the same schools, they face long journeys in and out each day, which adds considerably to costs.
How you can help
The Food Bank urgently needs more donations of food.
The Local Buyers Club, a discount card supporting independent businesses, has set up additional donation points in Hackney, Islington and Crouch End.
Among the items which urgently need restocking are: tinned meat, tinned veg and fruit, pasta sauce, UHT milk and long-life orange juice, deodorant and washing up liquid.
You can donate at:
Location Location estate agency & Askew Eyeware on Stoke Newington Church Street
L’Epicerie 56 on Chatsworth Road
The Deli Downstairs on Victoria Park Road.
Bourne’s Fishmongers in Highbury Barn (Collection for Islington Foodbank)
Freemans Butchers in Crouch End. (Collection for Haringey Foodbank)
To make a financial contribution visit: https://hackneyfoodbank.churchsuite.co.uk/donate/fund/2
To volunteer: email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition the Local Buyers Club will donate £5 to the Hackney Foodbank for each new member who joins between now and Easter Sunday. Click here.
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