Southwark Council supports local food banks with £200,000

14 December 2020

Southwark Council has announced that food banks in the borough will receive nearly £200,000 in council funding to help support their essential work.

The eight food hubs and one food bank are currently providing food to over 5,200 residents per week, many of whom are extremely vulnerable.

During the first wave of the pandemic, some Southwark food hubs saw a four-fold increase in referrals to food banks due to financial insecurity.

Since then, all eight food hubs have stepped up and adapted to meet the need during the crisis by developing delivery and collection systems to distribute food parcels and essential items to residents, including those who are self-isolating. Some are also developing co-operative ‘pantries’ to provide a low-cost food option for residents over the longer term.

In response to rising food poverty since the pandemic began, Southwark Council has also recently joined the COVID Community Campaign alongside the Mayor of London, London Councils, and leading charities aimed at alleviating food poverty; The Trussell Trust, FareShare, Magic Breakfast and Social Bite.

Money raised by the campaign will be distributed among the four national charities and 20 per cent of proceeds will go to local charities in each participating London borough, including Southwark, so that no one is left without the food and support they need this winter.

Cllr Helen Dennis, cabinet member for social support and homelessness, said: “This last year has been incredibly tough for everyone, but especially for those struggling for food and the bare essentials. The pandemic has forced many of our residents into desperate situations meaning the vital work of Southwark’s food network has never been more important. The scale of the need demands we do more and that’s why, along with providing £200,000 to local food banks in Southwark, the council is part of the London-wide COVID Community Campaign to tackle food insecurity across the capital.

“Winter is often the hardest time of year for vulnerable and older people. Coupled with the challenges of the pandemic, even more of them will be facing Christmas alone after months of hardship and isolation. That’s why the council is supporting, and contributing to, local organisations providing a range of activities as part of the community Christmas appeal so that everyone in the borough feels cared for and connected. We’ve seen just how brilliantly our communities have pulled together already this year and encourage residents who are able to donate what they can to this very worthy cause.”

Page last updated: 14 December 2020