Food chain helps East End’s poor

VOLUNTEERS have been collecting for food from shoppers outside a supermarket to help out poor families in London’s deprived East End.

Members of Foodbank’s Tower Hamlets branch were at Whitechapel’s huge Sainsbury’s on Sqaturday asking shoppers to donate produce to help people in times of crisis, such as illness, benefit delays or redundancy.

The non-profit organisation run by the Trussell Trust Christian charity has already had a successful Christmas Hamper appeal when one-and-a-half tons of food was donated by customers at Tesco’s in Bromley-by-Bow and Waitrose in Canary Wharf, as well as schools, churches and organisations.

The 161 Christmas hampers they put together fed 460 people and helped save Christmas for many families in one of the most deprived areas of London.

“It really helped us out at a time when we were very short financially,” said one member of a family of five who received a hamper.

“To have the extra food at a time when we were trying to make everything stretch was really helpful.”

Now the volunteers want to continue the ‘food chain’ as the recession bites into many family budgets in the East End.

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The organisation helped feed 41,000 people in crisis up and down the country last year. But numbers who need help are growing—the charity expects to be helping 60,000 this year.

Tower Hamlets Foodbank in The Highway, Shadwell, can be contacted on 020-7680 2779, or email: