London food bank spends over £4,000 a month to meet unprecedented demand

21 December 2023, 15:09

Rising demand: Hackney food bank
Rising demand: Hackney food bank. Picture: LBC

By Chantalle Edmunds

A food bank in east London is spending upwards of £4,000 a month to replenish its stock in order to keep up with rising levels of need, particularly among the over 65’s.

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Latest figures show Hackney food bank, run by the Trussell Trust, has seen a 95% increase in the number of pensioners accessing its services between January and November 2023, compared to the same period last year.

Now it urgently needs more items to cope with the additional demand from those in need over the holidays. Food donations are down by 23%. The cost-of-living crisis is thought to be the main reason behind the drop.

Jenna Fansa from Hackney Food Bank told LBC: “We’re anticipating a 30% surge in demand this winter. We're seeing many more pensioners, so lots of over 65-year-olds, there’s a 95% increase in the number of over 65-year-olds coming to us.

“And logistically, it's a huge effort to feed the huge numbers of people that we're currently seeing. We have more than 100 volunteers who support us at the warehouse and in the distribution centres and as drivers

“It doesn't feel like there's any let up, the pressure is constant and the team is constantly working at capacity to make sure that we feed people in crisis.”

It’s a trend felt right across the Trussell Trust network with 93% of its food banks in the UK having to buy food to meet demand. This has led to one in three food banks reporting concerns about being able to continue at current levels

A record 1 million emergency food parcels are expected to be given out by Trussell Trust food banks across the UK from December 2023 to February 2024.