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Helping local people in crisis

The increase rise of emergency food supplies by Trussell Trust foodbanks

Thousands of hungry families in London are relying on food banks more than ever this year figures have shown.

The Trussell Trust provided over 823,145 food parcels between April and September 2019, a 23% increase on the same period in 2018.

With Christmas only being a few weeks away, the festive period is becoming increasingly difficult for many, with more people than ever expected to need to use a food bank during the holidays.

As demand increases, the charity is asking for supporters to donate as early as possible in December to help alleviate pressure from volunteers during its busiest time of the year.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust said: “What we’re seeing is people struggling to heat homes and put food on the table because they simply cannot afford the basics anymore and that just isn’t right.

“In the short-term we’re urging the public to donate generously during the first part of December and into the New Year, as unfortunately the need for foodbanks is not going to end after Christmas.”

In Hillingdon, the poverty rate is 22.4% (below the London wide figure of 27%) with 24% of Hillingdon residents being low-paid.

Benefits not covering living costs as well as changes and delays to benefits, such as Universal Credit, were among the most common reasons given for needing the emergency supplies.

Hillingdon Labour have previously donated their increases in their Councillor allowances to the local foodbank.

Leader of the Hillingdon Labour Group Councillor Peter Curling said: “We are one of the richest countries in the world, and yet we have huge number of families and individuals in need of food. This simply shouldn’t be happening.

“Terrible and damaging initiatives such as Universal Credit that are destroying lives and pushing people into poverty. It isn’t good enough.

“Whilst some celebrate when a new foodbank is opened, we will not celebrate until the last one closes down due to there being no need for food parcels anymore.”

The Hillingdon Conservatives are yet to comment.

The Trust is the largest food charity in the country and has several centres around West London.

In Hillingdon, the offices are in 4 New Windsor Street, but donations are also accepted at the centre in 30 Oxford Road, New Denham.

The food banks in the borough are:

Uxbridge: St Margaret’s Church, Windsor Street

Northwood: Emmanuel Church, High Street

Northwood Hills: United Reform Church of Eastcote and Northwood Hills, Joel Street

Ruislip: St Gregory the Great Catholic Church, South Ruislip

West Drayton: Com Café, 62 Byron Way and Bell Farm Christian Centre, South Road

Cowley: The Living Room, High Street

Yiewsley: St Matthew’s Church Centre, High Street

Hayes: St Anselm’s Church, Station Road, St Edmund’s Church, Edmunds Close and Life Oasis Centre, 59 Carfax Road

New Denham: 30 Oxford Road

The charity advises anyone who wants to donate to get in touch with their local food bank to find out what there’s a shortage of and see what they can provide to help.

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