Kingston Foodbank volunteers praised by mayor after behind the scenes tour


The foodbank hands out emergency food to those in financial hardship.


By SWLondoner staff

The Mayor of Kingston has praised volunteers who have been working to help hard-pressed people feed themselves.

The foodbank, at Kingston United Reformed Church, hands out emergency food to people in financial hardship and last week gave the Mayor a behind-the-scenes tour of their operation.

“It is reassuring that there is such an impressive operation and a welcoming and listening service for people in crisis,” said Councillor Mary Heathcote OBE.

Like many of the 300 foodbanks across the country, the centre has seen a sharp rise in demand and now distributes up to 1.7 tonnes of food a month to clients referred to them.

Set up in 2011 by the Community Church and other churches across the borough, it has helped more than 3,500 local people in need and received more than 32,000kg of donations from the community.

“It is sobering to know that so many people in our borough have had to rely on emergency food supplies,” added the Mayor.

“I thank all of the hard-working volunteers and the local people and businesses which support Kingston Foodbank.”

Paul Pickhaver, Kingston Foodbank manager, said that the main causes of the food crisis in Kingston were low income, high debt, unemployment and benefit changes.

“I am delighted that the Mayor was able to visit Kingston Foodbank,” he said.

“We work with more than 100 front-line services across the borough and share our data so that policy makers have up-to-date information about food deprivation in Kingston.”

“Local people are seeing incomes squeezed and costs rising so even people in work can find themselves in crisis. It has been incredible to see the way the local community continues to recognise and respond to local needs by donating food.”

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