NORWOOD FOODBANK REPORT INCREASE IN NUMBERS OF EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLIES; EXPRESS FEARS OVER UNIVERSAL CREDIT INTRODUCTION

Between 1st April and 30th September 2017, 4404 three day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, compared to 3248 the same period in the previous year.

Of this number, 1791 went to children.

The foodbank, a member of The Trussell Trust’s network which has today reported an increase in UK foodbank use, believes the Local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; low wages; and no recourse to public funds.

In the months leading to Christmas a number of factors, such as cold weather and high energy bills, or foodbanks and referral agencies ensuring that people who are likely to hit crisis have food ahead of Christmas Day, mean The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network traditionally sees a spike in foodbank use.

The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is asking the community to help them prepare for their busiest time of year by donating urgently needed food items.

The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is concerned about next month’s rollout of full Universal Credit in Lambeth, following evidence from other foodbanks in The Trussell Trust’s network about the issues people referred to them have experienced with the new system.

The 6+ week waiting period for a first payment can contribute to debt, mental health issues and rent arrears. The effects of these can last even after people receive their Universal Credit payments, as bills and debts pile up.

The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is preparing to help prevent local people affected going hungry but is troubled by the extra pressure this puts on food donation stocks and volunteers’ capacity.  
 
Elizabeth Maytom, project lead for The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank said: “It’s really worrying that we are still seeing an increase in need for emergency food across Lambeth.

“Every week people are referred to us after something unavoidable – like illness, a delayed benefit payment or an unexpected bill – means there’s no money for food.

“It’s only with local people’s help that we’re able to provide vital support when it matters most, and whilst we hope one day there’ll be no need for our work, until that day comes we’ll be working hard to help prevent people going hungry.

“Thank you so much to everyone who already donates time, food and money to help local people.”

Despite generous donations of food, there are many hidden costs involved in running the foodbank. Costs include advice workers, salaries, insurance, printers, shelving and trolleys.

The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more at https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/

For volunteering opportunities please sign up for our winter supermarket collection that is pinned to the top of our Facebook page.

For up-to-date lists of urgently needed food, information about where donations can be left and to contact the foodbank about possible collection points, please visit https://norwoodbrixton.foodbank.org.uk/or search Facebook or Twitter for Norwood and Brixton Foodbank. (Source: Norwood and Brixton Foodbank.

MORE THAN 450,000 TONNES OF FOOD THROWN AWAY IN LONDON EACH YEAR IS PERFECTLY EDIBLE

Over half the 900,000 tonnes of food thrown away in London each year is perfectly edible. Wasting it makes no sense either environmentally or economically.

This November, a new campaign called ‘Small Change, Big Difference’ launches in the capital to help Londoners make a big difference to their health, pockets and the planet by getting savvier with their food.

The campaign is all about eating more healthily and sustainably, reducing the food we waste at home and recycling more of the inedible bits. The first three boroughs getting involved with the campaign are Lambeth, Hackney and Merton.

Over the next month in Lambeth a number of pop up events around the borough where waste service group Veolia’s communication, education and outreach officers will be on hand to offer advice about food waste recycling and re-using leftovers and will be giving away food waste reduction gadgets like spaghetti measures and bag clips.

Lambeth Public Health will also be on hand to give advice around healthy eating. Updates will be posted on Love Lambeth. (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)

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