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 1,9 million three-day emergency food supplies were distributed to people in crisis.
This month meet one of our guests, read about an amazing local gardening project at The Rookery, there’s also a call-out for our green-fingered supporters, information about a forthcoming cycling fundraising event (do check this News page later this week for further updates about this) and we sadly say farewell to one of our drivers:
NEWS AND UPDATES
Our new ‘time for a cuppa’ phone service has already proved a big hit, with lots of our clients keen to share their experiences with us. Teressa told one of our volunteers how her husband was a self-employed decorator who had failed to qualify for government support. They had been short of food for the last two weeks and were unaware of the Foodbank service until the school their children attend got in touch offering food bank vouchers over the school holidays. Teressa said “Before the school got in touch, my husband and I hadn’t eaten for two days. We knew of food banks but had never used one. When I saw the blue British Gas van turn up and then the food left on our door step, I couldn’t stop crying. There was so much lovely food. Words cannot tell you how relieved and grateful I am”.
“It feels like there is a tsunami approaching and we don’t have a lifeboat” – this is how our media manager Jon Taylor describes the impending crisis to Geoff Lloyd and Ed Miliband in their podcast ‘reasons to be cheerful’. It may not seem like the most cheerful of topics to discuss but the incredible support we have received from our supporters, local businesses, churches and of course our volunteers certainly is! In this podcast Jon discusses the incredible increase we have seen as a foodbank, the reasons why people are using our service and makes some suggestions on how the government can improve the current situation.
Peter Maytom is one of a small group of teenage boys who has been volunteering at our Streatham warehouse since we switched to our delivery model in spring. Peter helps manage deliveries and sort stock and has become a key part of the team. As a keen cyclist, Peter has decided to help the Foodbank by rasing funds through participating in the virtual Ride London event. He intends to cycle 46 miles which is the maximum distance allowed for someone of his age. His fundraising target of £460 (£10 per mile) will be enough to fund fresh fruit and vegetables for our food parcels for an entire two weeks! If you would like to sponsor Peter for his race on Sunday, 16th August you can do so here. We know he will be ecstatic if he can achive his target. If you enjoy cycling yourself, why not give virtual cycling a go and see if you can raise funds for our Foodbank too.
This month meet Amanda Courtney, Norwood and Brixton Foodbank’s multi-talented part-time administrator: “I started this role over two years ago as Foodbank’s need was growing and I have always been based at home. Since lockdown, I have been updating and managing our referral agency database, so that all our agencies can be set up to use electronic vouchers and so can issue vouchers remotely. We currently have over 450 partner agencies who refer clients in the Norwood and Brixton catchment alone. Prior to Foodbank, I worked for charities including the International Broadcasting Trust (now an advocacy organisation working for fair broadcasting) and later for CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development). My motivation for working for Foodbank is that the help we give is immediate and local. I love telling people what I do and they always ask many questions and want to know how they can help. I think people engage with it so much because the help is direct. I also feel there is a sense of reassurance, now more than ever, that it exists. It is a privilege to work for Foodbank and its wonderful staff team, volunteers and trustees who all want to make a difference, with compassion and dignity, to the lives of those who are in crisis in our community”.Thank you for all your hardwork Amanda, we really apprecaite all you do.
We’d like to thank the wonderful team of volunteers at the Streatham Common Community Garden for offering to grow fresh vegetables and herbs for us. Based at the Rookery in Streatham Common they don’t have too far to go to transport their fresh produce to us!
Calling all those with green fingers! Being able to add fresh fruit and vegetables to our Foodbank parcels makes a huge impact to our clients and this is confirmed by the feedback we receive. That’s why we’d like to invite those with allotments or a vegetable patch at home to consider donating some of their fresh produce to us. You can do so at the usual drop-off location at St Margaret’s Church in Streatham.
We’d love to say a final thank you to Roy who has now returned to work with British Gas after finishing his period of furlough. British Gas had loaned Roy and his van to us to help deliver food parcels since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Many other food banks across the country have also benefited from a similar relationship with British Gas – we’re hugely grateful for their generous and innovative support.
We’d like to give a special mention to White Edge Garden Construction who donated their time and expertise to repair the fence at our warehouse. Not only does it look great, but it will also help serve as the new entrance for face to face appointments with our guests that are due to begin shortly.
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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