Southwark Food Bank emergency prompts support from local community

News Desk (06 August, 2018)

The school holidays put financial strain on many families

23970Peckham food bank

Last month, Southwark Food Bank announced an urgent call for donations, following an ‘unexpected doubling’ in client numbers, which has prompted action from local residents, writes Clara Gaspar…

Peckham’s Pecan foodbank’s executive director Chris Price explained that for many families, the summer holidays are a period of real financial difficulty.

“While the schools are not there, there is not enough provision for food and they just do not have the money to feed their children adequately during the school holidays.”

This is often due to the unavailability of free school meals for children on low incomes, which are worth on average about £10 every week per child.

The Trussell Trust, an anti-poverty charity that runs a network of over 420 food banks across the UK, has issued warnings that food bank use spikes each summer.

Their data has showed that 4,412 more three day emergency food supplies were given to children in July and August 2016 than in the previous two months.

The Ledbury Action Group, a collection of campaigners from Ledbury estate in Peckham, have established an online fundraiser for the Pecan Food Bank. At the time of writing, they have raised £460 of their £1,000 target.

Danielle Gregory, spokesperson for Ledbury Action Group, told the News: “We wanted to help Southwark Food Bank after reading of their urgent call-out for donations on Twitter. Just before the school summer holidays began, the food bank explained that they’d seen a dramatic increase in users, with their client numbers doubling.

“Statistics show that food poverty increases during school holidays, this may partly explain the sudden increase in demand.”

 

“On a personal note, several years ago I had to visit the Southwark food bank myself, to feed my family.” She added.

“They welcomed us in without judgement and supported us back onto our feet during those tough times, it’s nice to be able to do something good in return. The idea of families going without food is saddening, but our Southwark community is amazing and I’m certain we can smash our goal of raising £1,000 for this vital charity!”

The group have stated, “We understand that many people would like to donate to the food bank, but may not be able to physically get items to them.

“This method also enables Pecan to order in items which are running low on their inventory (which may change from week to week.) It also enables Pecan to ensure that there are enough funds to cover their own costs as a charity.”

An evening of spoken word and music has also been organised for August 15th where instead of paying for a ticket for the event, attendees are asked to bring a full bag of non-perishable food on entry, which will go to Southwark Food Bank.

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