'A lot of people need help': Kentish Town's emergency foodbank

An emergency foodbank has opened at Kentish Town Health Centre

An emergency foodbank has opened at Kentish Town Health Centre - Credit: Kentish Town Health Centre

An emergency foodbank has been opened at a health centre in Kentish Town to help patients during the cost of living crisis

The initiative is hosted by the Free Space Project, the in-house arts and health charity for Kentish Town Health centre, and is open to patients at the James Wigg and Queen's Crescent GP practices.

Maddie Rose, coordinator at Free Space Project, said: “The emergency food bank stemmed out of all the very worrying news articles about the cost of living crisis.

“We recognised that a lot of people are going to need a bit more help.”

The project is funded by the Trussell Trust, a UK charity supporting food banks, and parcels are given out every Wednesday from 9.30am to 1pm. 

“They (Trussell Trust) deliver us emergency food bank parcels every week and on Wednesday morning I am here to give them out to our patients.”  

Vouchers are issued which can be redeemed across the UK. 

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“That is why I was quite keen on partnering with them," said Maddie. "If anyone is moving, we can still support them.”

The project has only recently started but Maddie hopes it can offer service to more people in Camden.

“Everyone has come and talked to me about it," she said. "We had pensioners, families, couples in their 40s. A lot of people do not have regular work again since the pandemic and I think that is worrying.”

The Free Space Project's aim is to support mental and physical health through the use of the arts and holistic care. It mainly service patients from the James Wigg and Queens Crescent practices but is expanding to Camden.

“How I see it is that if people can’t feed themselves, they are not really going to care about the arts and the garden because they are just not going to have the energy," said Maddie. "So, in my head I thought this is the first step for us to really support our patients. Doing those basic needs.

“It’s all well and good doing amazing art things but if people are hungry then it’s not very helpful.”

The emergency food back parcels are made possible by the Chalk Farm food bank and the Trussell Trust. For more info visit www.freespaceproject.org