As a society, we believe in justice and compassion, and protecting each other from harm. But right now many people in Wandsworth Borough are locked in poverty, including one in three children.
Last year, Wandsworth Foodbank provided 5,770 emergency food supplies to local people referred to us in crisis – the highest amount ever, and a 78% increase over five years.
We opened the food bank in 2013 in response to the growing need we saw in our communities. We’d spoken to teachers and social workers who were referring local people to food banks in neighbouring boroughs because there wasn’t help closer by. We asked people with lived experience of poverty, who’d had to use a food bank, to help make our service as welcoming and helpful as possible. We hoped we wouldn’t be needed for long.
Since then, we’re really glad to be able to provide a service that 92% of referrers and guests rated as excellent (the rest were ‘good’!). We’re incredibly grateful to an amazing team of volunteers, and to everyone who generously donates money, food and basic toiletries to help their neighbours in crisis.
And we’re thankful for our Foodbank Advice Project, in partnership with Citizens Advice Wandsworth and funded by the Henry Smith Foundation, which supports people referred to us to resolve the crisis they face.
But food banks are not a solution to poverty. That’s why every year we report what we’re seeing locally – the drivers and impacts of household food insecurity and food bank use – and suggest some actions we think would help end the need for food banks.