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East Ham foodbank struggling to keep up with rising demand

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 July 2019

Volunteers Audrone Juciuviene and Maureen Kinsey serving up a hot lunch at Bonny Downs foodbank recently. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

Volunteers Audrone Juciuviene and Maureen Kinsey serving up a hot lunch at Bonny Downs foodbank recently. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

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An East Ham charity which has delivered more than 5,500 emergency food parcels says a third of its recipients are children.

Stock is running low in the packing room at Bonny Downs foodbank. Picture: Bonny Downs Community AssociationStock is running low in the packing room at Bonny Downs foodbank. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

Bonny Downs Community Association's (BDCA) foodbank service urgently needs more donations to keep up with a recent increase in demand from people struggling with changes to the benefits system and the cost of living on low incomes.

As of this week, the foodbank has delivered 5,509 food parcels in the borough - 1,971 of which were for children - since it opened in 2013.

BDCA is in need of financial and food donations to meet its rising demand, as well as more volunteers to help run its emergency foodbank service, which includes providing free hot lunches.

Project co-ordinator Angie Allgood said: "We're so thankful to our fantastic team of volunteers who give their time to the foodbank week-in, week-out, preparing and distributing the food parcels, cooking and serving up a hot lunch for our visitors, and offering the opportunity of personal debt and benefits advice for those who want it.

Volunteers Audrone Juciuviene and Maureen Kinsey serving up a hot lunch at Bonny Downs foodbank recently. Picture: Bonny Downs Community AssociationVolunteers Audrone Juciuviene and Maureen Kinsey serving up a hot lunch at Bonny Downs foodbank recently. Picture: Bonny Downs Community Association

"We're also very grateful to the local community for their continued generosity that keeps the foodbank running.

"Our stock levels are really struggling to keep up with demand right now, and we welcome both regular and one-off financial giving as well as new donations of food."

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A recent report by The Trussell Trust revealed the year from April 2018 to March 2019 was the busiest for its network of foodbanks since the anti-poverty charity was founded.

Data showed the number of food parcels given out had increased 73per cent in five years.

The Bonny Downs foodbank is delivered on Wednesdays in partnership with Bonny Downs Baptist Church and Newham Foodbank.

Last year alone, it supplied emergency food parcels to 787 people - including 307 children.

BDCA chief executive Peter Laing said: "We long to see the day when nobody in Newham will need to use a foodbank, but sadly we continue to see high demand."

Visit www.bonnydowns.org/foodbank for more information about the foodbank and how to donate.

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