Harlow Foodbank feeds 8,274 people!

Charity / Thu 8th Aug 2013 at 02:42pm

ATfoodbank1 the end of July 2013 Harlow Foodbank has fed over 8,000 people in crisis with emergency food in Harlow and the surrounding area since it opened in April 2009. In the last financial year the foodbank collected over 23 tonnes of donated food from the community and distributed 22.5 tonnes, through its referral system working in partnership with over 76 front-line care professionals. The foodbank now feeds an average of 264 people in crisis each month (201 adults & 63 children) and referrals already this year have increased by 54% (an increase of 92 people each month) in comparison to the same period last year.

The foodbank collects donated food from its partners in Harlow and the surrounding area, who include 60 churches, 38 schools, 4 supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA & Waitrose), 2 banks (Santander & Halifax) and many individual people across the town. Great Parndon Parish and LOKnSTORE in Harlow provide FREE storage space for all of the donated food. St Paul’s Church in Harlow Town Centre provides a central location for the foodbank satellite service, based in the Upper Room, and Harlow Salvation Army provides cover for the foodbank service on Wednesdays at their Tendring Road location. The foodbank has a team of just over 60 local volunteers working at their warehouse, satellite centre and with supermarket collections.

The main reasons for people using the foodbank are: Benefit Delay, Low Income, Homelessness, Benefit Cuts, Refused Crisis Loan, Debt, Unemployment, Domestic Violence, Sickness and Delayed Wages. Over 60% of referrals to the foodbank are due to some form of benefit change or delay.

Gary Knott, Director of Community Services says: ‘In these challenging and difficult economic times more and more people are coming to the foodbank for help and support, especially when they are faced with higher shopping, fuel and utility bill charges. Many others have seen their benefits challenged and/or amended, which has had a major impact on their day to day lives. In the first four months of this year Harlow Foodbank has seen referrals increase by 54% (an increase of 92 people per month), as opposed to the same period last year, and to support this the foodbank now needs over 3.5 tonnes of donated food each month. Through all of these difficult challenges I would like to thank everyone who continues to support us by making regular and one-off food donations, which have been the lifeblood and backbone of our work’.

APPEAL – Harlow Foodbank 500 CLUB – we are looking for 500 people to donate £1 or more each month to support our work so if anyone can help please ring Gary at the MRCT office on 01279 724515

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