FOODBANK ON THE MOVE
The North Enfield Foodbank is moving. Having operated out of temporary premises in the Big Red Storage depot in Lincoln Road near the A10 since last year, it is relocating after the summer into new premises across the road, alongside new offices and meeting rooms for Jubilee Church.
Foodbanks provide food for up to 3 days and other essential items to individuals and families in crisis, on production of a voucher which people obtain from a referral agency (Job Centre Citizens Advice Bureau, GP etc). Clients may be homeless or unemployed and unable to feed themselves or their children. Delays in benefit payments are also a major factor - it may be simply over a change of address - and it takes time to get them reinstated. Around 25% of clients are in low-paid work and, with the rising costs of energy and food, are struggling to make ends meet on the national minimum wage.
Nationally, the Trussell Trust, the country’s largest provider of Foodbanks, estimates that there are over 900,000 people every year in the UK seeking food aid. Demand in Enfield has increased significantly since the North Enfield Foodbank opened in April 2012, and so far it has given out over 100 tonnes of food – all of it generously donated by churches and the local community. This has enabled it to feed over 12,500 people in Enfield (including over 5,000 children), providing some 112,500 meals.
Clients are very grateful for the help they receive, not just in terms of food but also a welcome and a listening ear. One recently texted: "Thank you for all your help today, it really blessed me and my children. God bless you all. The staff are fab as well!"
A voucher distributor wrote: "You helped by providing a vulnerable adult with food and essential items. This lady was previously homeless and had no money to support herself or buy these things. She was so grateful to be given the opportunity to have enough food to eat and this gave her confidence and will hopefully assist her to become more independent in the future. Without services like yours, those in need can go ignored and neglected and could possibly end up in hospital due to social neglect. Please accept hers and our gratitude."
We have a permanent collection box at the Chase Family Church Centre for food donations, and one is also available at the Sunday morning meeting, along with leaflets about which food items are most needed. If you would like to get more involved personally, we can put you in touch with Kerry Coe, who manages the Foodbank.
Thank you so much for supporting this work, and please continue to do so. You are helping to make a real difference to people’s lives in Enfield.
David & Alison Gray