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Council launches emergency food appeal on behalf of local food banks

Tower Hamlets Council has launched an emergency food appeal on behalf of 31 food banks and food providers in the borough amid the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The appeal, which is asking partners, business and residents for financial donations, is in response to the huge increase in the amount of people needing help with food over the course of the pandemic. Many local food providers have reached crisis point and will be unable to continue supporting vulnerable residents without urgent support.

Since the start of the pandemic, Tower Hamlets Council has distributed 190 tonnes of food to those who needed it and invested £950,000through its resident support scheme. Despite this the need is greater than ever this year.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “Supporting our residents through the pandemic has been and continues to be our priority, and a key part of this is making sure people have access to food. We’ve seen a great community response and the East End spirit of resilience in response to Covid-19. We are asking everyone in Tower Hamlets who feels able to please donate to our urgent appeal. It will make a huge difference to vulnerable people in our borough.”

The council has set a target of raising £5,000 per month to continue providing food support. While the overall cost of continuing this service is significant, this monthly contribution will help the 31 food banks in Tower Hamlets plan their support for the month.

Councillor Mufeedah Bustin, Cabinet Member for Planning and Social Inclusion, said: “Food banks have seen an unprecedented increase in demand this year. The council has provided funds and resource to support this vital service, and now, working in partnership with the borough’s food banks, we are launching this appeal to encourage donations and corporate sponsorship. This year has been challenging for everyone, but no family should be without essentials. Please show solidarity and help us to support our community.”

People who wish to donate to the council’s emergency food appeal can do so by visiting www.spacehive.com/tower-hamlets-food-appeal#/idea. Spacehive is waiving its fee for the project so all donations will be going to the campaign, minus the GoCardless transaction fee of 1.2 per cent.

Anyone who would like to help but is unable to support financially can sign up to be a volunteer through the Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 2,300 people have signed up to be a volunteer, playing a key role in the community response to Covid-19. Visit www.vcth.org.uk/ for more information and to sign up.

Anyone who would like to donate food directly can drop off items at the VCS food distribution hub, located at Granby Hall, 37 St Mathew’s Row, E2 6DT.