Here is an introduction to our project, redistributing food in the capital, and providing practical and spiritual support to people in need.
Camden foodbank was established by City Church in Pratt Mews in December 2011, under the umbrella of The Trussell Trust. Our second centre opened in Lancing Street in August 2016. Weekly distribution now takes place from the two centres, and we have seen a tenfold increase in clients since 2012/13 to 3188 clients supported in 2015/16. Our main focus has been collecting sufficient donations of non-perishable food to meet the demand in Camden. During 2015/16 we collected and distributed nearly 30 tons of food!
In the borough of Camden, located in central London, there are a significant number of homeless people, and a high turnover and transience of the population generally. The wards with areas of greatest deprivation are Somers Town, Kings Cross, Regents Park, Camden Town, Haverstock, Gospel Oak and Kilburn, though paradoxically there is a mixture of more affluent housing in most of these wards. Our largest donations during Primary Schools Harvest Festivals came from Netley School in the Regents Park Estate, which has one of the greatest indices of deprivation in the whole of the UK.
According to most recent ONS data (May 2016), almost a third (32.5%) of the UK population experienced poverty at least once between 2011 and 2014. Additionally, in 2014, 6.5% of the UK population were in persistent poverty, equivalent to approximately 3.9 million people. That so many people do not have enough money to feed their families is primarily due to the international recession, national austerity measures and the introduction of universal credit in April 2013. With universal credit all benefits including housing come to one person in a household, and delays in those benefits payments therefore have a huge impact. There is a real risk of families running out of food before the end of the month, children arriving at school hungry, and older people having to choose between heating and food during winter months.
The Trussell Trust, a registered charity, is a Christian organisation that operates as a national umbrella body to support foodbanks nationally with: organisational and volunteer training; an operating manual, PR and branding materials; an online forum; annual quality assessments; conferences; and access to the foodbank network’s shared ideas and experiences. All food is donated by the public and logged and sorted by volunteers. Frontline care professionals such as social workers, the police, GPs and teachers issue food vouchers to people in crisis. At distribution sessions like ours, people exchange these for three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food. People also receive a friendly cup of tea and signposting to agencies that can help resolve their situation.
To find out more about how you can support our foodbank look at our give help pages.
Making A Complaint
Camden Food bank is committed to delivering a high standard of service to anyone who engages with our work.
We believe that the best way to improve our service is by learning from the people who use it. We welcome comments, compliments and complaints from clients, referral agencies, volunteers and anyone else we come into contact with in our work. These help us to see what we are doing well and where we can make improvements.
We aim to promote an environment where people are encouraged to raise and discuss issues informally and, where necessary, seek solutions to prevent them developing into problems or complaints.
However, we recognize that there may be situations where people are not happy with the outcome of an informal discussion or feel that the issue needs to be taken further. In these cases Camden Food bank has a complaints procedure so that we can work towards a resolution in a fair and transparent manner.Camden Food bank Complaints procedure