Jon Taylor , the Manager of the local Food Bank writes
It seems like a long time ago since we first launched our Foodbank back in September 2011. We had no idea of the scale of the need that was on our doorstep, and certainly no idea of how much we would need to expand the service we were about to offer over the coming years.
Our Foodbank provides emergency food for those in crisis via a voucher referral system, and distributes non-perishable food via donations from the local community. We are supported by an amazing team of volunteers. We don't only distribute food, but also offer a comprehensive sign-posting service and provide additional advice on social housing, the benefit system and debt through our onsite advice team.
Over 7,965 three-day emergency food supplies have so far been provided to local people in crisis by Norwood and Brixton Foodbank during 2016-17, compared to 6,548 in 2015-16. Of this number, 3,252 food provisions went to children. The top three reasons for foodbank referrals were benefit delays (20 %), low income (20%) and no recourse to public funds (19%).
Over the last year, local people have donated 61 tonnes of food to the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, and over 200 people have volunteered their free time. Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the foodbank, enabling us to give three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced food and advice to people in crisis.
We've been keeping tabs on our latest Foodbank figures over the summer, having witnessed some extraordinarily busy sessions. It didn't come as a surprise to learn that during the period of July and August we had seen an increase of 500 people using our Foodbank compared to the same period last year. We are more grateful than ever for the generous donations of food and money we continue to receive. Without the great support of the community, our Foodbank would struggle to operate and with winter just around the corner, your support is needed more than ever.
How to help:
The change in season is always a time when foodbanks see a surge in the demand for their service. At the moment we have a particular shortfall of the following food items: UHT Milk, tinned meat, non-perishable spreads such as jams or peanut butter, pasta/rice sauce and tinned vegetables, e.g. carrots or peas. Non-food items such as washing powder and shampoo are also in demand.
We are also very grateful for monetary donations. These donations help us to cover the costs of storing and distributing food, as well as developing sustainable projects that help people get out of crisis faster and that have a lasting impact. Visit our website for more information on how to give.
Food drop-off points:
Saturdays: 9-11 am at St Margaret's Church, Barcombe Ave, Streatham SW2 3BH
Anytime: Drop boxes are situated at Streatham Tesco Extra, Brixton Tesco Acre Lane and Brixton Sainsbury’s on Brixton Water Lane. Items do not need to be purchased in store
For a full list of drop-off locations, information on how to help or to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, visit our website on https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/