Demand for Brixton foodbank help continues to grow

Local people have received almost 10,000 emergency three-day food supplies from the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank in the past 12 months – a 22% increase on the previous 12-month period.

Some 9,809 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to people in crisis, compared to 8,004 in the previous year. Of this year’s total, 3993 went to children.

The local community donated 75 tonnes of food between April 2017 and March 2018.

Demand for foodbank help is accelerating. It rose by 18% between 2016 and 2017.

Elizabeth Maytom, project lead of the foodbank, said: “We don’t want to be here forever. No one in Lambeth should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all.

“It doesn’t have to be this way – with a benefits system that catches people before they fall into crisis, and secure work that provides people with enough money to cover the cost of essentials, this is possible.

“But, until that time, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most – we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community with no money for food are able to access emergency support, and that has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. Thank you.”

The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is a member of the Trussell Trust’s national network which today (24 April) reported a UK-wide increase in foodbank use

As part of the network campaigning for change, the foodbank offers practical emergency support to help prevent people going hungry and participates in research and raising awareness about the issues local people are facing.

The number of foodbank clients on low incomes has seen a sharp rise in the past year.

Sandra, a client living in Brixton said: “Foodbank helped to fill a gap. I’m working, but it isn’t enough to cover my bills and provide food.

“I pay my bills first then worry about food after – that’s just me. I work for 25 hours each week and, without the foodbank, it would have been even harder to survive, especially without any family to support me.”

The foodbank says that, despite generous donations of food, it has many costs, including advice workers, salaries, insurance, printers, shelving and trolleys.

It would welcome any new offer of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more here.

If you want to volunteer, sign up for the foodbank’s May supermarket collection, details on its website and Facebook page.