Generous donations ease the pressure as stocks are depleted by surge in demand

A quieter-than-usual June was followed by the Food Hub’s busiest-ever July, with food for 4,167 meals delivered to 463 clients and family members. At the session on Saturday 29th July alone, we provided food for 30 clients and 45 family members, equivalent to 675 meals.

July’s total meals were 1,700 more than in June, and 1,800 more than in July 2022. The previous busiest July was in the Covid lockdown year of 2020, when 3,735 meals were delivered.

The high demand over the last few weeks reflects the financial struggle that all our clients are facing. This in turn has put pressure on our shelf stock and some lines have become seriously depleted. Thankfully our supporters have been generous not only with food and toiletry donations but also with gifts of money.

Last month, for example, we received £700 from Chipstead Valley Primary School, Coulsdon, the proceeds of two carol concerts last December, and when East Coulsdon Residents’ Association delivered the donations from their yellow bin in Mead Way they also included a cheque for £500 from a resident.

Money donations allow us to buy in bulk to fill the gaps in stock and ensure we give balanced food packages to our families in need.

They made all the difference last month – of the 9,448 items we counted as food donations in July, 1,585 were actually purchased direct from Morrisons.

They also enable us to give vital financial support to our partner organisations. Our Trustees agreed in June to increase by at least 15% the support we give to Purley Food Stop, St Francis Food Stop, The Vine Food Bank in New Addington, Happy Baby Community in Croydon, and Croydon Refugee Day Centre.

The Trustees also agreed to give financial support to Fieldway Food Stop in New Addington for 12 months from July.

So an enormous thank you to everyone who donates to the Food Hub. It is directly because of the continued generosity of so many people – churches, schools, community groups, businesses, families and individuals – that we have been able to provide food for more than 315,000 meals for families in crisis since we opened in 2013.