The Trussell Trust runs the largest network of food banks in the UK, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis. Fourteen million people live below the poverty line and in the last year 2,5 million three-day emergency food supplies were distributed to people in crisis.
This month’s newsletter includes updates about our exciting partnership with Crystal Palace FC, our ‘Cuppa Time’ initiative to bring back a bit more of our personal touch which we lost during lockdown, a request for more volunteers during the summer months, Meet The Team and the recent The Guardian article which features one of our drivers. We hope you enjoy it!
NEWS AND UPDATES
We are delighted that our partnership with Crystal Palace FC continues to bear fruit. With no fans currently able to attend matches, they have given their stadium a facelift and have decided to promote our ‘text to donate’ service in the Holmesdale stand. It looks fantastic and was ‘crystal clear’ during Palace’s televised match vs Burnley on Monday, 29th June. It’s not just Crystal Palace we need to thank, but also the ‘Holmesdale Fanatics’ supporters club who were offered the opportunity to have their own banner displayed but asked the club to promote our Foodbank instead. “Text ‘Dinner £5’ to 70085” was all over Twitter by half-time thanks to the pre-match promotion from Crystal Palace, the ‘Holmesdale Fantatics’ and an unexpected mention from the match commentators on TV. This exposure helped us raise nearly £3,000 in one evening. Thank you so much to everyone involved.
Since switching to our delivery model in April, one thing we’ve really missed is being able to chat to our guests. In an attempt to make our service more personal again we have started to place a single tea bag in every food parcel with an invitation to join us for a ‘cuppa tea’. The invitation includes a phone number to book a slot for a call-back from one of our volunteers. When the call comes in, guests can put their kettle on and enjoy their cuppa while receiving relevant sign-posting advice or simply enjoying a chat. We’ve been able to run this service thanks to the close partnership with the Waterloo and Vauxhall Foodbanks.
Click above to watch a short PR video from Tesco featuring Brixton Foodbank Manager Jon Taylor. We are continually grateful to the support we get from Tesco who not only encourage us to have drop-boxes in their stores and provide opportunities to do regular collections, but since lockdown have also been making large weekly food donations themselves.
We are keen to hear from anyone who is available to volunteer during the week for a minimum of two hours throughout the summer months. With no evening or weekend volunteering opportunities available at the moment, these daytime slots are our biggest area of need. Applicants are required to reach our Streatham venue by foot, bike or car. Please don’t use public transport at this stage. If you are free in July, August or September please email us at [email protected].
Meet Elizabeth Maytom, our Project Lead. Elizabeth is the mastermind behind the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank and has been pivotal in the set-up and expansion of our service since it began over eight years ago. “I am used to challenges and the unexpected but nothing quite like the crisis of Covid-19. We had to change our model of delivery in 3 days, something that often takes months of planning, numerous committee meetings and lots of consultations. It has been great to welcome Rebekah from Waterloo and now Suzie from Vauxhall to combine forces to deliver parcels across Lambeth and the pooling of skills and resources has helped develop a great operation. It is very humbling to see volunteers so keen to support us, whether it is turning up weekly to pack and sort, or helping from their armchairs performing a whole range of roles and tasks. However, it is so sad to hear the heartbreaking stories of those for whom this crisis is even more difficult due to job losses, income reduction, and more. So whilst there is still need to provide food in crisis, we will be here and campaigning to ensure no one goes hungry and there is justice for all”.
We love how technology can be harnessed to help those in need! Thanks to the collaboration between ‘Give Food’ and developer Mario Menti, it is now easier than ever to find out which food items are in high demand at your local food bank. You can simply ask Alexa or your Google Assistant in order to receive an accurate picture of the current demands. Here is what you need to do:
Say “Alexa, open Give Food”, or “Alexa, ask Give Food to find food banks”.
Say “Hey Google, talk to Give Food”, or “Hey Google, ask Give Food where my nearest food bank is”.
If you haven’t quite cracked voice activated technology, you can always view the shopping list on our website.
We are delighted to announce we have a new drop-box available for those of our supporters who live in the Streatham/Norbury area. We are grateful to the management of the Lidl store in Green Lane for providing us with this opportunity. For a full list of food collection points click here.
We are delighted that a story written by Lucy Turner from our PR team has recently featured in the Guardian. ‘My Working Week’ describes a typical week through the lens of Reg, one of our delivery drivers. For those who like to listen to podcasts, we will also be featuring on ‘Reasons to be cheerful’ with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd which should be available from Monday, 6th July. We’ll try and include a link in next month’s newsletter.
The Streatham Drop-in Centre are one of our biggest referral agencies and provides vital support for refugees and asylum seekers. Now offering a remote service, they are continuing to provide a range of services strengthening access to food and supporting the more vulnerable. Unfortunately they won’t be in a position to offer their usual summer activities but they are to going to provide toys, games and books for children experiencing exceptional poverty. To fund this project, they have set up a Crowdfunding page which we encourage you to visit and donate if you can.
On 24th June, Centre 70 celebrated their 50th anniversary. It is a fantastic achievement for an organisation who we partner with very closely. Based across the road from our Norwood distribution point, Centre 70 provide an advice worker for every Norwood Foodbank session to support our guests with issues around housing, benefits and debt. Huge queues are often visible due to the popular demand for their service. Even though Centre 70 can’t see clients face to face at present, they continue to support the local community by offering a remote service. Many congratulations – we wish you another successful half-century to come.
Please note that due to Covid-19, our distribution points are currently closed! Drop-boxes are still operating in various local shops across Lambeth.
We have three distribution points across the Borough of Lambeth with different opening times for each. Click on the image above for more information regarding our food distribution points.In addition to the three distribution centres, we have a number of drop-boxes situated in local shops and community hubs across Lambeth.
We have a number of new initiatives to suit your donating preferences, including our text to donate service where simply by texting ‘dinner 5’ or ‘dinner 10’ to 70085 enables you to donate the corresponding amount through your phone. Please click on the image above and download our ‘ways to donate’ info sheet to see all options available to you.
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