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Harlow Foodbank now feeding over 300 people a month

Politics / Wed 11th Feb 2015 at 01:02pm

SINCE April 2009 Harlow Foodbank has fed over 14,000 people in crisis with emergency food. It has this year distributed 65.5 tonnes of donated food in Harlow and the surrounding area, through its referral system working in partnership with 154 front-line partners. The foodbank now feeds an average of 313 people each month (209 adults & 104 children) and referrals this year have increased by 5.5% in comparison to the same period last year.

The foodbank collects donated food from its partners in Harlow and the surrounding area, who include 76 churches, 38 schools, 4 supermarkets (Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s & Waitrose), 2 banks (Santander & Halifax) and many individual people across the town. LOKnSTORE in Harlow is the main location for the foodbank operation, much of which is donated, with additional storage facilities being provided free by Harlow Council at the Latton Bush Business Centre.

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 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/Sanctions, Low Income, Homelessness, Benefit Cuts, Refused Crisis Loan, Debt, Unemployment, Domestic Violence, Sickness and Delayed Wages. Over 50% of referrals to the foodbank are due to some form of benefit change, delay or sanctions.

Gary Knott, Director of Community Services says:’ The work of Harlow Foodbank continues to grow and develop and we have seen an increase year on year in referrals from our front-line professional partners as many local people still find it difficult to make ends meet, even when in employment. As always we are very grateful to all of our community partners and individual supporters who provide us with both non-perishable and fresh food donations and also those people who support our “500 CLUB” with their financial donations each month”

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