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Appeal for donations to help Newham foodbank stay open this winter

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 November 2020

Brother George, sister Carol and sister Priscillia prepare parcels for the needy. Picture: Rev. Ivo Anderson

Brother George, sister Carol and sister Priscillia prepare parcels for the needy. Picture: Rev. Ivo Anderson

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A foodbank is appealing for support so it can continue helping the needy this winter.

Rev. Ivo Anderson, vicar of St Paul's and St James Church, has appealed for donations to keep Newham Foodbank's doors open over winter. Picture: Rev. Ivo AndersonRev. Ivo Anderson, vicar of St Paul's and St James Church, has appealed for donations to keep Newham Foodbank's doors open over winter. Picture: Rev. Ivo Anderson

Newham Foodbank has reported a rise in visitor numbers from five people a day before the pandemic up to 23 now.

The foodbank, which operates out of St Paul’s and St James Church in Stratford, has seen hungry families arrive at its doors not just from Newham, but Redbridge and Waltham Forest too.

Originally serving West Ham and Stratford, it has now expanded to cover neighbourhoods across Newham, including East Ham and Plaistow.

The Rev Ivo Anderson said: “St Paul’s and St James church was demolished by the bombing during the Second World War.

“But one way of resurrection is [the foodbank] opened even during the lockdowns to offer help for the needy and the vulnerable.

“This place, once destined by the bombs to disappear, now gives hope and peace to people who in peace time have nothing to eat.

“If you think you have nothing to offer and are not able to support others, let me encourage you and say that people like you made us able to keep the foodbank open during the first lockdown.

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“This winter and coming Christmas we need your support again so we can still stay open and offer the vital service to our needy community in Newham.

“Please help and let your support be remembered by the future generations. Thank you!”

During the first wave of Covid-19, the foodbank’s doors stayed open, mainly thanks to generous donors. Besides handing out parcels, volunteers delivered to disabled people and those self-isolating in lockdown.

But staff expect demand to increase this winter as more people struggle because of the virus’s impact on their finances.

Rev Anderson explained how during the past months, people who have not eaten for days have been referred to the foodbank.

Recipients include single parent families, those waiting for benefits to kick in and unemployed people.

“It’s a lifeline,” he said.

But he described children knocking on the church door pleading for food even before the pandemic.

So far Newham Foodbank has raised more than £4,000 towards a £10,000 target via its GoFundMe page.

The money will buy food and go towards replacing shelves.


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