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Castlehaven Community Centre launches food bank to help deal with ‘huge increases’ of food poverty in Camden

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 June 2020

Leila, a regular volunteer who grows vegetables in the Castlehaven centre's community garden. Picture: CCA

Leila, a regular volunteer who grows vegetables in the Castlehaven centre's community garden. Picture: CCA

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The Castlehaven Community Association (CCA) has launched a new food bank hub and appeal to help it support those suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Working with the Kentish Town and Highgate Newtown community centres, from June 1 the new food bank is delivering food parcels to those in the Camden Town with Primrose Hill council ward who “have lost their job or income and are experiencing hardship as a direct consequence” of Covid-19.

In recent weeks the team at the CCA have been working to improve the community’s mental health and wellbeing – but with other local groups seeing “huge increases” in demand for food and the furlough scheme expected to wind down, it was predicting a dark future of “more job losses and fuel poverty”.

The CCA said data showed food poverty in Camden had risen 250 per cent in the borough in recent months, and staff there worried “with more job losses predicted, this could increase dramatically”.

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CCA’s chief exec Tricia Richards said: “This is such an important development for Castlehaven. We’ve been delivering services to help people’s wellbeing during lock down.

“It is a shame to have to open another food bank, but sadly demand for emergency food is increasing.”

As part of its health and wellbeing work, last week the CCA sent its Ageactivity 60+ group of older people 284 handwritten cards to ensure that the vulnerable group felt cared for during the pandemic lockdown.

One of those to receive a card, John Edwards, said: “Simple isn’t it? A little card, a hand-written message and a tiny Kojak lolly, but its impact on us both here has been tremendous. We do feel that we are not forgotten and it’s a wonderful, comforting sensation.”

The CCA is looking to raise £7,500 to run the food bank, to contribute, visit virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?campaignId=13079. So far it has collected £850.

If you need help with food and live in the area’s covered, you can call 07551 798767 to organize a delivery. The food bank is also looking for volunteers, to apply call the above number or email info@castlehaven.org.uk.


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