News from Wandsworth foodbank

A letter from Wandsworth Foodbank.

A letter from Wandsworth Foodbank

 

Dear St. Mary’s

We are so grateful for each person who has donated time, money or food recently to help their neighbours across Wandsworth Borough who are struggling. Thank you.

We’ve just published our annual Food Poverty Report, looking at how many people we’ve helped in the past year, and why they were referred in crisis. It reveals that more than 1000 separate households were referred to us when they were without sufficient food, or money to buy food in the week ahead.

You can read the full report, as well as shorter summaries on our brand new website (https://wandsworth.foodbank.org.uk/2016/05/25/2016-wandsworth-food-poverty-report-launched/) , or see how The Guardian reported on it (https://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2016/may/26/poverty-six-steps-from-the-jobcentre-to-the-food-bank) . But in the meantime, here’s some of the key info for you.

While we love meeting guests who are referred to us, and it’s a privilege to help them, we are sad that the numbers of people needing our help is still increasing. We hope our research can play a part in looking at the drivers of foodbank use, and bring change, so that less people not more need our help in the year ahead.

It’s particularly shocking that in our rich country, children are facing hunger and deprivation. 4 in 10 of those receiving emergency food in Wandsworth in 2015-16 were children. We have more than 20 primary and secondary schools across the Borough who can refer families to us, as well as children’s centres and social services teams. This is what one local teacher told us:

“Staff alert me to any concerns that arise in the lunch hall. These range from inadequate or non-existent packed lunches to very hungry children, as well as identifying those that say there is no food at home.”

Food poverty severely impacts the lives of people who experience it. It’s strongly associated by our Voucher Partners (local referring agencies) with causing stress, anxiety and depression, as well as poorer physical health and increased debt. This year twice as many Voucher Partners said they’d witnessed suicidal tendencies in guests they referred to the foodbank (compared to the year before), and twice as many said they’d seen parents skipping meals so their children could eat.
https://wandsworth.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/

All of this means we are so incredibly grateful for your continued generosity, so that we can provide good quality emergency food, essential toiletries and support, as well as longer-term resolution through offering guests signposting to further help, as well as direct referral to our dedicated Citizens Advice Foodbank adviser.  Thank you.

We love our volunteers across our five centres and others who gave time to sort food and volunteer at supermarket collections, added to an amazing number of people sharing their time to help their neighbours. Thank you!

We were delighted that 100% of guests and Voucher Partners rated the service we provide as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and it was inspiring to read stories like this one, from one of the agencies referring to us. Thank you for being part of enabling change like this to happen.

As you may know, we don’t receive any local or national government funding. So we’d be really grateful if you, your church or faith group if you’re part of one, your school or business could consider giving financially (https://wandsworth.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/) to support Wandsworth Foodbank’s work (if you don’t already). Thank you.

We always love to hear from our supporters, and if you’d like to get in touch or for any further information, please email [email protected]

Dan Frith and the Foodbank Team

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Our mailing address is:
Wandsworth Foodbank
St Mark’s Church
Battersea Rise
London, London SW11 1EJ
United Kingdom