Hackney foodbank could close temporarily if no warehouse is found

Hackney Foodbank is in desperate need of a new warehouse to store its tonnes of food

Hackney Foodbank is in desperate need of a new warehouse to store its tonnes of food - Credit: Archant

Hackney foodbank could be forced to close temporarily if it doesn’t find a new warehouse space, leaving 350 users going hungry.

The organisation has been told it must leave St. Mary’s Community Centre in Defoe Road, by October 25 because the building has been sold.

But that date falls in the foodbank’s busiest period, when donations are at their highest, and effectively means the team need to find a new home by the end of August.

Project manager Liza Cucco told the Gazette: “We weren’t surprised by the date we were given but we were hoping we could stay through the winter.

“We get out most support from October to December and we couldn’t move then.”

The foodbank serves about 300 people a month and last year 3,215 emergency food packages were handed out to people in Hackney – a 25 per cent rise year on year, dwarfing the London-wide increase of 5pc.

Last month £10,000 was raised for the foodbank at an auction, but unless a new home is found, the foodbank would be in serious trouble.

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Liza is pleading with businesses, landlords and church groups to let her know of any available spaces in the borough.

“We have one potential lead but it’s not in Hackney, and we really want to stay here,” she added. “We have 150 volunteers from the borough work with us every year and we want to keep doing that.

“It doesn’t need to be one big room, it can be a couple of rooms. Commercial space is better and we would need it for at least a year, short term is not suitable for us because of how much food we store.

“If we don’t find somewhere we might not be able to provide continuous service, we might have to close down for a month or two.”

Anyone wanting to discuss potential space can email info@hackney.foodbank.org.uk.