News from Wandsworth foodbank

A letter from the Wandsworth Foodbank team

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, or see how The Guardian reported on it
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.

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 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