Chestertons, one of London’s largest agents, is currently supporting the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank by turning all three of its Fulham branches into collection points, taking non-perishable food donations from clients, staff and local residents.
Chestertons’ latest efforts follow horrifying new statistics of families who do not have enough food: government data shows that the number of children living in absolute poverty has increased by 200,000 in a year, to a total of 3.7 million and 1 in 5 of the UK population now live below the poverty line.
In Hammersmith & Fulham, it is thought that about 33% of residents are living in poverty and many of these are reliant on the food parcels that they can access through their local foodbank. Foodbank use has subsequently increased by 5,000 percent over the last ten years and donations are desperately needed.
However, many people are unaware of the foodbank, or the urgency of the situation in their own borough and so to help address this, Chestertons decided to partner with the foodbank to help raise awareness. It has printed 10,000 flyers that have been delivered to local residents asking for their donations and has also turned each of its three branches into collection points to make it easier for local people to donate food items.
The Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank was one of the first foodbanks to open in London in 2010 and has become London’s busiest, feeding almost 12,000 people in 2018, compared to just over 5,000 in 2016.
CEO and Founder of Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank, Daphine Aikens, recently held a talk as part of Chestertons’ Food and Drink programme and highlighted the challenges that the foodbank faced.
Commenting on Chestertons’ involvement, she said, “We rely on the support of the local community to ensure that we are able to provide complete food parcels to people referred to us. Last year, our parcels contained the equivalent of almost 120,000 meals plus toiletries and nappies etc. The support of Chestertons in both raising awareness and donations is invaluable and will ensure that we are able to continue in our mission of ensuring that ‘no-one goes to bed hungry’ in LBHF.”
Chestertons’ Regional Director, Adam Jennings, added: “After meeting Daphine and hearing about her fantastic work within our community, we knew that we had to do something to help. We are really pleased to be working with the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank and look forward to receiving more generous contribution of food from the residents in the area.”
Items that are especially in demand include long life milk and juice, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, tinned meat, bags of rice, cereal, instant coffee and hot chocolate and spreads (jam, peanut butter and honey). Alternatively, cash donations can be made via the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank’s website.