Food Hub resources at full stretch as partner organisations help share the load

In total in January we delivered food for 501 clients and family members, making it our second busiest January on record with 4,509 meals provided.

The Food Hub of course is an emergency food bank for clients in immediate food crisis and in recent weeks we have been at pretty well full stretch meeting very high need, mainly caused by rising food and energy prices, with proposed National Insurance increases looming.

As a result, a number of longer-term clients whose circumstances have begun to improve have been encouraged and supported to move on to their nearest Food Stop – at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, Purley, or St Francis Church, Monks Hill, Selsdon.

Clients don’t need to be ‘referred’ to go to a Food Stop, open on Fridays, where they are able to choose the fresh and frozen food they need at the time – around £20 worth for a payment of £3.50.

For some clients in financial difficulty, we can give them pre-paid return bus tickets, and arrange that they can shop free until they start work or their Universal Credit or other benefit kicks in. Purley Food Stop – which is currently serving over 70 clients each Friday – also has a free clothes stall.

We are able to supply both Food Stops with excess stocks of some items donated, and our Client Support Volunteers also operate at Purley Food Stop, for example helping clients to apply for one-off payments from Croydon Council’s Household Support Fund for food, electricity/gas or household goods.