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Food bank launches £100,000 emergency appeal

Photo by Kristian Buus

An emergency appeal has been launched as Hackney Foodbank struggles to cope with a huge spike in demand and a fall in donations.

They hope to raise at least £100,000 to see them through what staff describe as: “the toughest time in living memory.”

In 2017, Hackney Foodbank spent just £2,000 per year on food, in 2018 the figure was £7,000. This year they’re expecting to spend £125,000 and next year, as conditions worsen for poorer families, that figure is expected to reach £250,000.

Photo by Joseph Sinclair

Comedian Aisling Bea, is among those supporting the campaign. She said: “We urgently need everyone who can to donate, to donate in any way they can with money or needed donations because the alternative is heart-breaking. The numbers in need are staggering. The Trussell Trust and its staff and volunteers work to the bone, I have seen it first-hand.”

She described the campaign as a chance to “ease the toll on people in even the most basic ways,” adding: “They are lobbying the government to act, but until they do, it is tragically left in the hands of the Trussell Trust and the public to prevent people, including many elderly and children, from going without food and hygiene supplies.”

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to try to raise a hundred thousand pounds and the charity is urging the public to sign up for regular, monthly donations.

Photo by Kristian Buus

Pat Fitzsimons, CEO of Hackney Foodbank, said: “This is the toughest time in living memory. Food donations are half what they were last year and we’re feeding twice as many people as we were before the pandemic. The demand we’re seeing now is similar to at the height of the pandemic – the difference this time is that donations aren’t keeping pace.

“The cost of living has increased for everyone; inflation, the energy crisis, rising rents and wages and benefits aren’t increasing. We’re seeing more working poor now. Food donations are so low that we’re having to shop for food – we’re spending an average of £4,000 per week – that’s what we used to spend in a year.

“The people we help are destitute; we’re seeing adults and children who are malnourished, we’re hearing from schools where children have empty lunchboxes, where teachers are buying food for pupils and children’s teeth are rotting because their families can’t afford toothbrushes or toothpaste.

“We dream of a world where food banks aren’t required, but until then we urgently need the public to pledge to our emergency appeal to ensure nobody goes hungry this year.”


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