Harlow Foodbank feeds 10,157 people
Since April 2009 Harlow Foodbank has fed over 10,000 people in crisis with emergency food. It has this year distributed 33.2 tonnes of donated food in Harlow and the surrounding area, through its referral system working in partnership with 123 front-line care professionals. The foodbank now feeds an average of 294 people each month (216 adults & 78 children) and referrals this year have increased by 59% in comparison to the same period last year.
The foodbank collects donated food from its partners in Harlow and the surrounding area, who include 72 churches, 38 schools, 3 supermarkets (Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s), 3 banks (Santander & Halifax) and many individual people across the town.
Great Parndon Parish and LOKnSTORE in Harlow provide FREE storage space for all of the donated food. St Paul’s Church in Harlow Town Centre provides a central location for the foodbank satellite service, based in the Upper Room, and Harlow Salvation Army provides cover for the foodbank service on Wednesdays at their Tendring Road location. We also have a satellite centre at the Methodist Church in Bishop’s Stortford. The foodbank has a team of 65 local volunteers working at their warehouse, satellite centre and with supermarket collections.
The main reasons for people using the foodbank are: Benefit Delay/Sanctions, Low Income, Homelessness, Benefit Cuts, Refused Crisis Loan, Debt, Unemployment, Domestic Violence, Sickness and Delayed Wages. Over 60% of referrals to the foodbank are due to some form of benefit change or delay.
Gary Knott, Director of Community Services says-
Harlow Foodbank has now been in operation for nearly five years and we continue to see an increase in referrals year-on-year. As the service has grown and developed we have extended our partners and we now offer a service in the Bishop’s Stortford area as well as adding fresh eggs and potatoes with our emergency food, thanks to our new partnership with Greenway Eggs & High Trees Packers Ltd. We have also been greatly encouraged to partner with local allotments in Harlow who provide us with seasonal summer vegetables to complement our emergency food provision.
Harlow Foodbank is a community project in which everyone can play their part in supporting local people in crisis.