As charity says it is helping up to 400 local people every month
The borough’s foodbank has opened a new collection point at Hammersmith Town Hall.
H&F Council says there are also plans to open several more collection points for Hammersmith & Fulham Food Bank, an independent charity, affiliated with the Trussell Trust.
The council has also funded an advice worker to provide in-depth problem solving casework for vulnerable clients, as well as supporting food bank volunteers to identify other sources of support and help. This is designed to attack the causes of food poverty so that they don’t find themselves needing to return in the future.
The borough’s foodbank will be five years old on Monday and demand is as high as ever. The charity has helped about 90 people per week in the past fortnight, including children, and regularly supports about 250 to 400 people every month.
Councillor Sue Fennimore, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, says: "Food banks are a product of the challenging circumstances that far too many H&F residents now face. We are determined to do what we can as a council to prevent people needing to use food banks, but while they do we are proud that so many residents have stepped forward to provide this critical support.
" We are doing everything we can to support these efforts and I hope this new collection point will help even more residents donate the food and supplies which sadly some residents badly need."
People assessed as needing the support of the foodbank are referred by local organisations and services, such as children’s centres, voluntary organisations, GPs, social workers and the borough’s citizens’ advice bureau using a voucher system. Enough food for ten meals is provided at a time, as well as other essentials such as toiletries.
H&F Council is working to promote the take-up of vouchers among residents in need, as well as highlighting the ways residents can donate. It is working to provide a distribution point for the charity in the north of the borough, adding to the two currently running at St Simon's Church in Shepherd's Bush and ChristChurch in Fulham.
&F Food Bank founder and manager Daphine Aikens, says regular donations are vitally important. "Everything donated is given out to someone in crisis in the borough but if we don’t have what’s needed, we can’t give it out, " she says.
" People come to us for all sorts of reasons. They might be working full time but can’t afford to buy a school uniform for their child and eat at the same time, they might be domestic violence victims or a family man whose wages haven't changed while all of his household expenses have risen in cost.
" We see people in the most extreme situations on an almost daily basis."
About 30 people man the drop in centre where food and supplies are handed out, with other volunteers working behind the scenes.
As well as Hammersmith Town Hall, food and other essentials can be dropped off at the following sites across the borough: Budgens, Munster Road; Tesco, Shepherd's Bush Rd; Sainsburys, Townmead Rd; Sainsburys, Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre; Halifax Building Society, King Street; Waitrose, Parsons Green; Waitrose North End Road; Waitrose, Westfield; Askew Road Library, Askew Road; Shepherds Bush Library, Wood lane; Hammersmith Library, Shepherds Bush Road and Fulham Library, Fulham Road.
The foodbank says it currently has a plentiful supply of baked beans, tinned tomatoes, pasta and rice but is in need of:
small bags of sugar
long life juice
long life milk
tinned rice puddings
tinned or long life sponge puddings
Visit the Foodbank website for more details.
July 24, 2015