A food bank in north London has issued an emergency appeal to keep it open as expenses and demand rise.
Hackney Foodbank has gone from paying £2,000 yearly on food in 2017 to £4,000 weekly.
The charity hopes to raise £100,000 to keep operating this year amidst the expense of the living crisis.
Chief executive Pat Fitzsimons called the current situation “the hardest in living memory” and urged the people to assist in any manner they could.
The charity is anticipating spending £125,000 this year to stay open, but next year that figure will be approximately to reach £250,000.
Donations to the foodbank have also decreased, even as demand for its services has increased, with an increasing number of families in the borough struggling to make ends meet.
Despite feeding twice as many people as we did prior to the pandemic, food donations are down from last year, according to Ms. Fitzsimons.
She said the team “had to shop for food – we’re paying an average of £4,000 every week – that’s what we utilized to spend in a year” since donations were so low.
She stated that she would be “lost” without the foodbank due to “absolute hopelessness” caused by rising living costs and costs such as food, gas, and electricity.
Since she had been grieving, she continued, “It’s really hand to mouth right now, so I’m incredibly grateful that we have places like this where people can receive meals.”
‘Poorer than I’ve ever been.’
Former window cleaner Michael Monaghan told the BBC that he became dependent on the foodbank during lockdowns after losing his job and now utilizes it every week.
He said, “I had a fantastic business, but when the pandemic struck… I lost my work quickly.
“I found myself poorer than I’ve ever been in my life,” Mr. Monaghan added, adding: “I’ve not had protracted hardship, so I just thought foodbanks were extremely useful.
“Sometimes all it takes is finding your backbone, figuring out how to go through it, and knowing there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Demand at the foodbank has become so high that the organization, which allocates food parcels from its centers in Hoxton, Dalston, and Upper Clapton, has even had to extend services further and start unlocking on Friday nights to reach those who are performing during the day.
“The folks we support are penniless,” Ms. Fitzsimmons remarked. We observe starving adults and children, and we hear from schools where children have empty lunchboxes, teachers buy food for students, and children’s teeth rot because their families cannot afford toothbrushes or toothpaste.
“We aspire to a world when food banks are no longer required, but in the meanwhile, we urgently need the public to contribute to our emergency appeal to ensure that no one goes hungry this year.”