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Thousands more people in Hackney are ‘struggling to afford basic essentials,’ says foodbank

PUBLISHED: 10:29 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:47 16 October 2020

Staff and volunteers working at Hackney Foodbank's warehouse at the Florence Bennett Centre in Hoxton. Picture; Hackney Foodbank

Staff and volunteers working at Hackney Foodbank's warehouse at the Florence Bennett Centre in Hoxton. Picture; Hackney Foodbank

Hackney Foodbank

Hackney has seen demand for food bank services more than double since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

From March 16, when lockdown was first implemented, to September 30, Hackney Foodbank has fed over 10,000 people. It fed 4,446 people over the same period last year in 2019, revealing a large increase in those being referred to the service.

A concerned Melanie Rochford, business and development director of Hackney Foodbank, told the Gazette: “For the year to date, we have fed over 13,000 mouths.

“We are bracing ourselves for yet more demand as we head toward Christmas, with additional costs like winter fuel placing further pressure on squeezed budgets, and the added pressures of dealing with the recession and increased unemployment.

“Together we continue to push for change. Nobody should have to struggle to afford the basic essentials in life.”

MORE: Hackney Foodbank close to breaking point as need increases by more than 50%

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Like many other services the foodbank, which is based at the Florence Bennett Centre in Hoxton, has had to adapt during the pandemic becoming an “at the door” service to minimise risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Melanie says the pandemic has left many living in “unstable environments” and hopes Challenge Poverty Week, which began on October 12, will encourage more people to find out about the growing issue of poverty and, the support and advice the foodbank provides helping service-users access other vital services.

But despite the worrying figures, Melanie says the service is taking on lots more volunteers and making the foodbank “more robust” for the coming winter months as uncertainty over a second lockdown and coronavirus wave looms.

She said: “We can’t do the work we do without the vital support we get from our local community.

“We are forever grateful to our many dedicated volunteers who do a wonderful job, to the many donors in our community who donate either food or money to us, and to the local businesses that support us in various ways.”

For more information on Hackney Foodbank click here.

Learn more about challenging poverty at www.londonchallengepovertyweek.org.uk/

Learn more about the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, which Hackney Foodbank is a part of by visiting www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/


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