Wednesday, 21 September 2011

All you wanted to know about H&F Foodbank

27% of families in H&F live in poverty, and 50% of kids live in low income families - some of the sobering facts that accompany the news that the H&F Foodbank is coming to Shepherd's Bush.

I've been talking to Daphine Aikens, the manager of Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank, who work with local people in crisis without food or money to buy food. This may be for a variety of reasons including redundancy, benefit delay, ill health, low income, homelessness and debt. Sadly, with the cold winds of recession blowing through W12 at the moment, their services are likely to be even more in demand.

One of the Bush's many rough sleepers
It's not difficult to see the people in and around the Bush who are in this sort of trouble, as a walk across the Green or my Saturday night with the local Police recently confirmed, so the news that they are opening here has to be welcome. Here's what Daphine has to say - and please note the bit about how you can help:

"The Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust Network of Foodbanks, was launched last year in Fulham. Since then we have provided food parcels to over 800 people who live* in the Borough – from White City to Shepherds Bush to Fulham - that’s over 8,000 meals that people did not have to skip due to poverty".

"27% of people in the Borough live in poverty; 50% of children in Hammermsith & Fulham live in low income families – these are just a few of the statistics that motivate us at the Foodbank".

"Our primary objective is to meet the needs of those in the community who are in crisis – caused by benefit cuts/delays, low income, illness, domestic violence or unemployment. Clients are referred to us by frontline care providers using our voucher system. Each client is given a menu plan and enough food for 10 meals".

"All food is donated by the public via food collections held at supermarkets, churches, schools, and local businesses".

"We are currently based in Fulham and open twice a week (on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons) to distribute food via our café-style Distribution Centre. Hot drinks and home-made snacks are also served, and a listening ear provided by our volunteers, as well as signposting to other organisations and Agencies who might be able to help". 

"A third café-style Distribution Centre will be launched later this year at St Simon’s Rockley Road, Shepherds Bush, W14. This venue will allow us to be open a third time every week, allowing our clients more flexibility with regard to timing, and location. The new Distribution Centre will be run by a Supervisor who has experience at our Fulham site. However, we will be looking for a local volunteer to take over this role as soon as they are trained and have the support of a good local volunteer team which we are actively recruiting".

For more information or to enquire about food donations, volunteering and other ways in which you can help, please contact Daphine Aikens, the H&F Foodbank Co-ordinator by email:

*A handful of people who live just outside the borough were also given food at the request of a referring organisation.


  1. Good for the Foodbank. Its a disgrace that in this day and age, in a London borough, people are so poor they cannot afford the food that they need.

  2. This looks like a really good initiative.

    Just out of interest, does anyone know whether the "27% of people in the Borough live in poverty" figure refers to absolute poverty or relative poverty? And either way, how is it calculated?

    Quite an emotive statement so would be interesting to know the calculations behind it.


  3. PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. MINE IS and I would like to tell you about the upcoming BROOK GREEN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, which is being held during the week of 17th October. An exciting programme of events to interest all local residents! Look forward to hearing from you.

  4. @ Anonymous

    You're being pedantic but I suspect that there's an unpleasant discourse lurking behind the facade of that question. Perhaps you could clear up any doubt? Merci en avance

  5. Hi buddyhell,

    Can understand your concern but definitely pedancy, not unpleasantness! Once did a statistics course and the definition of poverty was used as an example of how one number can mean different things in different contexts. And how passionate debate can be caused by seemingly dispassionate numbers. So was naturally intrigued by the thinking behind this number.

  6. Cannot believe the person who asked that question above. Do you fail to see that your 'intrigue' is actually read as a suggestion that the figures are exaggerated or even untrue? Why on earth would anyone care about the figures? People are actually struggling to eat and your primary concern is where the figures came from? Pretty glad I don't know you!

  7. @Kat, a desire to know the scale of problem no way implies that someone wishes not to help to resolve whatever problem there may be. It is good practice in any kind of journalism to be clear about one's sources and where the information comes from.