Can you help? Hackney Foodbank declares crisis as food runs 'critically low'
PUBLISHED: 15:42 16 May 2019
Hackney Foodbank is experiencing a massive food shortage, and has put out a crisis appeal as it struggles to keep up with increasing demand.
"We are running critically low on all food items," charity bosses have declared.
The announcement was made two weeks after a staggering rise in food bank use in the borough was revealed by the Trussell Trust charity.
Some 6,112 three-day emergency food supplies were given out in Hackney between April 2018 and March 2019 - a rise of 44 per cent on the previous year.
The charity has called on office-based workers to consider setting up a workplace food donation point.
Food could be collected on a monthly basis or otherwise delivered to the charity's HQ at the Florence Bennett Centre in Cherbury Street, Hoxton.
They have also asked people to consider making an online financial donation at hackneyfoodbank.churchsuite.co.uk/donate/fund/2.
"Whatever help you can give will be making a huge difference to people who are incredibly desperate, with very little hope to carry on," they said.
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Hackney mayor Phil Glanville said it was "awful to hear".
"We're working towards a time when Hackney Foodbank isn't needed, but today they need your help," he wrote on Twitter.
"We host them via a VCS [voluntary and community sector] lease and we are building a new partnership, working with cabinet member Chris Kennedy who leads on food poverty and food justice."
London Assembly Member Jennette Arnold OBE has previously blamed the growing number of people struggling to feed themselves on government welfare reforms like Universal Credit - the new online-only system that combines six benefits into one monthly payment.
"It is scandalous that we are continuing to see a growing dependence on food banks in our community," she said.
"Whilst the government is well aware of the key factors that are driving so many local families into food poverty, they are choosing not to act.
"Instead, they are shamefully passing on their duty of care to most vulnerable in society onto charities and a beleaguered public sector.
"The future of so many young Londoners is being blighted by the inaction of government. Malnutrition impacts on physical and social well-being and most importantly can affect the cognitive development of children."
A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "Universal Credit simplifies an out-of-date, complex system with evidence showing the claimants are getting into work faster and staying in work longer."