As we enter a new year, we are also celebrating how we in Bounds Green have come together to make sure we all have access to food.
A look back over six months since the Food Bank was set up by a group of us, who recognised that some people in Bounds Green did not have enough food and that the nearest Food Banks were too far away.
Our Food Bank opened in June 2020 just as the first lockdown was easing. It is open three days a week (Mon 6-8, Tues 2-4 and Thurs 2-4) and accepts anyone who requires support; referrals are not needed.
Our numbers have grown over the six-months with over 200 volunteers working together to provide fresh and packaged food to 300+ guests who choose and collect what they need for themselves and their families - 1,000 people in all each week.
People, including those using the Food Bank, donate their time, skills, and money. Local people support us with food contributions, regular monthly donations, and their time. Local schools, community and faith organisations, support the Food Bank which is now part of the network of food suppliers across North London, collecting food to be re-distributed.
Our initial funding came from Haringey Giving and the London Community Response Fund, but we now have pledges of support, and both regular and one-off donors which also enables us to buy supplies at discount.
World Food Day in November helped us join forces with local schools and led to Bounds Green school offering to host our storage container; our coats project ensured 300+ people had a warm coat this winter and our Xmas Project meant that each person had a festive food hamper and every child a present.
We were also very proud to be runner up in the Haringey Community Impact awards for ‘Best Food Bank’.
The Food Bank continued to operate over the Christmas period, and thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to offer Christmas food and gifts to our guests and their children.
During Christmas week Santa also made an appearance, along with festive music.
On Christmas eve we were delighted that chef and author Rosamund Grant, one of the most well-regarded experts on West African food, cooked delicious Christmas meals for our guests.
Thank-you to all our volunteers who have promoted, collected food, delivered packages, served, packed, and tidied and to all those who donated gifts and wrapped them to make sure no-one in our community was hungry over Christmas.