Hornsey Foodbank set up in Campsbourne school amid steep Universal Credit rise in Haringey
- Credit: Archant
A new food bank has started in a Hornsey school to support vulnerable families and protect them against a feared second wave.
Hornsey Foodbank (HFB), operating out of Campsbourne Primary School, in Nightingale Lane, was set up by around 30 volunteers from the area’s Mutual Aid group.
It opened officially for the first time on Thursday (July 30), with its fresh and non-perishable food donated by Haringey Council, and local residents and businesses including Intrepid Bakers from the High Street.
Until the end of August the food bank will be open every Thursday between 10am-2pm, with collections from 11am-1pm.
Sharon Farrell, 50, lives near Campsbourne primary and has four children. On Thursday she collected from the food bank with her five-year-old daughter.
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She said she was a bit “embarrassed” to use the community facility but that it was “really, really good”.
“When the kids are off school the shopping bill goes through the roof – £180 pounds per week can go on food,” Sharon said.
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“So if you’ve got a bit of support [like the food bank], the rest of the money can all go on the kids.”
Cllr Dana Carlin (Lab, Hornsey) said HFB highlighted the strength of community support through the pandemic, but also warned it was a safety net against a potential second wave and further economic uncertainty when the furlough scheme ends.
Cllr Carlin said: “What’s really encouraging is that even though lockdown has eased, people still feel that sense of community spirit.
“If anything, this is the so called ‘Big Society’ in action, this is grassroots society starting off in a quite diverse and unofficial way, which has then developed into a network of people who are now much more engaged about what’s happening in the local community.”
Cllr Carlin said the level of need arising from food poverty was “huge”. Between February and June, the number of people receiving Universal Credit in Haringey more than doubled, from 14,495 to 34,510.
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West said the largest jump was seen in Muswell Hill, where a large portion of residents work in creative industries such as TV and theatre.
Ms West said: “We all want to live in a society where we don’t need food banks and I’m hoping that the levels of Universal Credit will increase and that the statutory sick pay will go up, and that all employees gain access to statutory sick pay.”
Ms West added: “We have a very caring community here in Hornsey and I’m always astounded by how many volunteers will turn up to provide fresh and packaged food.”
Fr Ben Kerridge, from Holy Innocents church, said the relief effort had been massive.
He said: “Getting all the food over here from the church was a mission, but we had fleets of cars coming up, and people have just been so happy to help.”