Exceptional demand sees 5,850 meals delivered for 650 clients and family members

December saw food for 5,850 meals delivered for 650 clients and family members across the south of the borough – the highest monthly total in the Food Hub’s 11-year history.

Almost half of the meals were provided in the two sessions immediately before Christmas: 1,404 meals for 156 people on 16th December, then 1,476 meals for 164 people on the 20th.

In terms of people fed, these days were our second and fourth busiest sessions on record:

RankDatePeople fedMeals provided
14 Apr 20201691,521
220 Dec 20231641,476
321 Mar 20201571,413
416 Dec 20231561,404

“It is of course a terrible shame in this day and age that so many people are depending on food from a food bank,” said the Food Hub’s Chair of Trustees, Trevor Jones. “We thank our supporters for their considerable donations of food and money, and our volunteers for their unstinting time and commitment.”

Our session on 16th December was exceptionally busy from early start to late finish. Thirty volunteers packed food parcels, made deliveries to a record 57 clients’ homes and received and stored a huge amount of donated food, toiletries and household essentials.

We were joined by Ben Taylor, prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate for Croydon South and, among other commitments, a volunteer with Purley Food Stop and part-time worker for Croydon Voluntary Action.

Samir Dwesar, Gill Hickson and Ben Taylor
Cross-party consensus: Samir (left), Gill and Ben.

At one stage during the morning we went right across the political divide. As well as Ben, Purley Conservative councillor and Food Hub volunteer Samir Dwesar was on duty, and Liberal Democrat Gill Hickson brought in donations from the yellow bin she hosts for East Coulsdon Residents’ Association.

Then at our session on 20th December, we were joined by four staff from Lloret of Coulsdon – Abdul, Faye, Louise and Grace – who kindly helped to deliver food to some of the morning’s 54 clients. Faye said afterwards: “I just want to say how impressed we are at the organisation of the [Food Hub]. The work you do for the local community is amazing. Thank you for involving Lloret, we’re keen to continue to support the work you do.”

A special thank-you to the 20-strong team of Monday sorters and stackers who came in specially on Thursday 28th to ensure there was enough food on our shelves for the post-Christmas session on Saturday 30th December.

Thank you also to the volunteers who hand-delivered most of the 193 Aldi gift cards we provided for people to buy food for Christmas as part of the Come Dine with Jesus scheme run by local churches.