The meeting held to discuss the opening of a New Client Centre for Ealing Foodbank (EFB) at Ealing Green Church took place on Tuesday 15 January 2019 and was attended by 76 people – 31 of whom registered to be a volunteer and an additional 13 signed up to receive more information – which was an amazing response. As a result, it is anticipated that the new Centre will open on Tuesday 19 February – and will be available to EFB clients every Tuesday morning from 10.00am to 12 noon.
Many of you will already been aware that Ealing Foodbank already has 5 client centres (what are called ‘cafes’) across the Borough – in Acton, Hanwell, Southall, Northolt and Greenford (which is open on two sessions each week, including a Saturday morning). Each centre is open to clients for two hours each week, however there was nowhere available on a Tuesday and so for some time EFB has been looking to open a centre on a Tuesday – preferably in Ealing, which is the one area of the Borough that does not have its own foodbank centre – clients have to travel to other parts of the Borough. Following an appeal EFB made to all the churches in central Ealing several months ago, Ealing Green Methodist and URC very kindly stepped forward to offer their premises to Ealing Foodbank to be opened as the sixth client centre (Ealing Foodbank – Ealing Green café).
Regrettably, the need for the foodbank continues to grow. In 2018, the number of clients who visited Ealing Foodbank increased by a staggering 86% over the 2017 figure. Last year, they distributed a total of 8,102 three-day food parcels. The increase was due primarily to the introduction of Universal Credit, which was rolled-out across the Borough in March 2018. It should be noted, however, that the largest category of people who need to use the foodbank is ‘low income’, ie they are in work but their wages (including any benefit they may also be receiving) is not enough for them to live on.
Ealing Foodbank relies on the generosity of so many – the churches who donate their premises where the client centres (cafes) are held each week; all the volunteers who give up their time in so many ways – who help in each of the centres, who work in the warehouse or as drivers, who do the data input or work in the office or help with the supermarket collections etc; plus all those who regularly donate food – the foodbank could not exist if it was not for the incredible generosity of all those folk who regularly donate food either directly to churches, schools, businesses or via the collection boxes situated at the front of the local supermarkets; and all those who donate money; and, not to forget all those who regularly pray for the clients and their families who are in need of emergency food. So many wonderful people – without whose help EFB could not do what it does to help all those who are in crisis.
If you would like to find out more, please go to the Ealing Foodbank website www.ealing.foodbank.org.uk or speak to Marion McNeill