A further 2,600 meals delivered in June, our highest total since March

Just under 300 hard-pressed clients and family members received food parcels delivered by Food Hub volunteers in June, a total of 2,628 meals.

It was our highest total since March and took us to 18,765 meals provided during the first six months of 2022. It also took us past 265,000 meals overall since we opened in 2013.

At the same time we are noticing a reduction in the number of donations we receive because of all the other demands that people are facing. So we and our clients remain immensely grateful for each and every item that is donated.

The Food Hub continues to support the Purley and St Francis (Monks Hill) Food Stops with fortnightly supplies of food and also meet occasional requests from Fieldway Food Stop, New Addington.

St Francis Food Stop is seeing a steady increase in the number of people needing support, while Purley Food Stop reports that supplies of fresh food from FareShare/Felix are shrinking.

Purley Food Stop is now having to spend around £1,000 per month to buy in meat, fruit and veg from Bookers or Tesco.

Julia Lee, who heads our team of Client Support Volunteers and also works at Purley Food Stop, said: “Clients who were already struggling before the cost of living crisis are now in a very serious state, and we are seeing a number of clients returning to us who had been managing before.

“Most of these clients do not – and cannot – work because of physical or mental health conditions. We also have a number of single mothers who cannot afford the childcare to be able to work. They therefore have no way of supplementing their income and offsetting cost of living increases.”

During June we also had an excellent meeting with our Ticket Partner friends at Purley Job Centre. So far in 2022 the Job Centre has made 230 client referrals to the Food Hub – 28 per cent of our total referrals. We were able to get a better understanding of each other’s ways of working and this can only be for the benefit of our mutual clients.