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There With You: Investment bank guarantees supplies to foodbanks in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 15 April 2020

Volunteers stocking up at this east London foodbank... but keeping their 'social distance' from each other. Picture: Investec

Volunteers stocking up at this east London foodbank... but keeping their 'social distance' from each other. Picture: Investec

Investec

More cash is being ploughed into east London foodbanks to make sure they are well stocked for families having to rely on them more and more during the coronavirus lockdown.

Food supplies to east London's foodbanks are paid for by Investec. Picture: InvestecFood supplies to east London's foodbanks are paid for by Investec. Picture: Investec

Funds are being committed by the Investec investment bank to keep supplies running for the next 12 weeks, in many cases replacing school meals while children are having to stay at home.

The financial investments institution is paying for 17,500 items every week to each food bank in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney and Newham, in a deal with the Aldi supermarket chain.

The operation involves the First Love Foundation and the Trussell Trust running foodbanks in all three areas.

“This has been an extremely tough time for the people we support,” First Love Foundation’s Yasmine Patpatia said. “Our foodbank is needed more than ever before as the Covid-19 emergency develops.”

Well stocked... east London's foodbanks, now wiith guaranteed funding from a City investment bank. Picture: InvestecWell stocked... east London's foodbanks, now wiith guaranteed funding from a City investment bank. Picture: Investec

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The trust is having to cope with a 700 per cent rise in people needing its help over the past month, compared to this time last year. It is now running entirely on an “emergency model” in line with government guidelines, aimed at reaching the most vulnerable and deprived as safely and quickly as possible.

This includes making door-to-door deliveries to encourage more families to stay indoors.

Melanie Rochford,, of the Trussell Trust Hackney foodbank, said: “The pandemic has placed significant demand on our already-overstretched resources helping families living below the poverty line.

Even chocolate Easter eggs for children have been sent with grocery supplies to the foodbanks by the Aldi supermarket chain. Picture: InvestecEven chocolate Easter eggs for children have been sent with grocery supplies to the foodbanks by the Aldi supermarket chain. Picture: Investec

“The bank’s commitment offers much-needed stability at a very difficult time, which is allowing us to focus on essential support to those most vulnerable.”

Investec is financing the supply of essential items by Aldi.

The bank’s Deborah Sayagh said: “We are able to buy supplies through Aldi so that foodbanks will always have more than they need over the coming three months, or as long as required, to help alleviate some of the extreme pressure on those who are most in need.”

But it involves more than money. Logistics are needed to supply thousands of items a week to each foodbank. The bank sees itself “not living off the community”, but being part of it, running community outreach projects in all three boroughs.


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