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Tower Hamlets Foodbank Our Journey

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  1. Tower Hamlets Foodbank Our Journey

  2. Tower Hamlets Foodbank is a project of First Love Foundation, a Christian charity founded in 2010 Our vision is to develop and innovate other projects concerned with tackling poverty & deprivation where it exists We currently operate three foodbank centres on a weekly basis in Poplar / Bethnal Green & Spitalfields About Us

  3. How Foodbank Works Step 1 Items of long-life food is donated from right across the local community

  4. How Foodbank Works Step 2 Food is sorted by type and date then ‘banked’ in a warehouse

  5. Low Income & Debt / Redundancy Benefit Delay, Cut or Change / Sanctions Domestic Violence / Mental Health Bereavement Some of the reasons why people are referred to Foodbank

  6. Access to the Foodbank service is by referral only Our Voucher Holder Network (now over 210 strong) consists of: Social Workers / GP’s / Health Visitors / Social Landlords / School Parental Liaison Workers / Advice Centres / Pastoral Care Workers etc., and Jobcentreplus Over half are statutory run agencies! How Foodbank Works Step 3 We work in partnership with a network of Care Professionals who are best place to identify those in need

  7. How Foodbank Works Step 4 Voucher Holders refer clients to our foodbank centre via the issuing of a voucher - where we give support, advice

  8. How Foodbank Works Step 5 …and an emergency donation of food (enough for a minimum of 3 days)

  9. Most densely populated – 237,900 living in an area of 7.6 sq miles High levels of deprivation – 72% - 2nd highest in London, 3rdin UK About the income … Canary Wharf – average salary £95k Tower Hamlets – average salary £11.5k About Tower Hamlets The People

  10. Highest levels of Child Poverty in UK – 42% Children regularly going to school without breakfast Highest % of pupils on free school meals in UK Free school meal is sometimes only meal of day Poor Health - Vitamin D deficiency & Rickets About Tower Hamlets The Children

  11. Our work has been heavily impacted by the Welfare Reforms Increase in numbers of local people needing emergency food support as a result of sanctions & benefit mal-administration – average delay period 3 months + More single people referrals – busier sessions What we have seen over past nine months The Headlines

  12. We fed 1780 people in 2012-13, we have fed 1860 in the past 9 months 15% increase in clients presenting with benefit change or delay (32% 2012/13, 47% 2013/14 ytd) 52% of clients seen in YTD 2013-14 were single, as compared to 45% in 2012-13 16 % of our clients came from JCPs in YTD 2013-14, as compared to 8% in 2012-13. Stats – just quickly!!!

  13. Have seen issues of starvation i.e. people passing out as a result of incorrect ceasing of benefits Problems people present with are more complex – need longer term support As a result of the aforementioned, more clients presenting with Mental Health issues – LBTH has also acknowledged this trend …. So advocacy has had to become a key element of our work What we have seen over past nine months The Headlines

  14. The Historical Trussell Trust Model Signposting & Emergency Food

  15. What the Service now looks like .. Foodbank PLUS JOINED UP WORKING …the co-location of partners into our foodbank sessions, with a particular focus on addressing the crisis itself as well as meeting the material needs of someone experiencing food CRISIS …

  16. To continue to deliver the service at a level which has proved effective To secure clean, safe, permanent storage – and office space (instead of having to move every 6 mths etc) To attain sustainability The Challenges we face FINANCIAL

  17. Service is open to abuse – across borough and neighbouring boroughs Can’t totally rely on what client tells you Have had to put systems in place to reduce this - but resource intensive Facilitated by having open two-way relationships with our Voucher Holder Network through which we secure background information The Challenges we face SAFEGUARDING THE SERVICE

  18. Although there is overwhelming support for our work, there is also a lot of debate about the efficacy of foodbanks – so use every opportunity to educate about what is possible Need to maintain independence so we are not seen as an extension of the welfare state – one of the knock on effects is that support for our work could be impacted Watch out for the media & safeguard our clients (who tend to be mostly vulnerable) #benefitstreet The Challenges we face MEDIA/PUBLIC PERCEPTION

  19. On a National level - where do I start? On a Local level - “Welfare reforms are here for the long term – we are an emergency service – what’s your plan? We can either work in silos – or work together ….” The Challenges we face POLITICS – Local & National

  20. Thank You Denise Bentley | Tower Hamlets foodbank Manager | mob: 07939 464946 | tel: 020 3609 0850

  21. Where the clients that have accessed the Foodbank reside within the borough of Tower Hamlets

  22. Where the clients that have accessed the Foodbank reside within the borough of Tower Hamlets

  23. Sanctioned for 3 months for opting to go to a job interview instead of attending a JCP appointment – yes, JCP were correctly informed Sanctioned for 3 months for attending a family funeral instead of a work programme – yes, JCP were correctly informed Person with Brain Tumour incorrectly deemed fit to work – encouraged to sign up for JSA ... sanctioned as cannot work …should be on ESA What does INJUSTICE look like? SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE HAVE SEEN

  24. DV victims – rehoused in TH for their own safety – unfurnished flat, sleeping on floor with young children – in Winter! Mental Health sufferers – out of fear of asking for help – living in unfurnished flat for years, isolated – no fridge, cooker, bed, sofa … As a result of no ESA for 4 months – client returned donated food - no cooker anyway, only microwave, but cannot cook food as electricity disconnected due to o/stdg bill of £90! BTW – was also due to be evicted the next week … What does INJUSTICE look like amongst the most vulnerable? SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT WE HAVE SEEN

  25. “After my friends wouldn’t lend me any more money, went without food for 5 days in June & July, on each occasion I collapsed and was hospitalised due to malnutrition & dehydration” “I have skipped meals so my children can eat” “Lived on a loaf of bread & apples each week – for 18 months” “I have rifled through bins” “I have eaten cigarette stubs” “Survived on bread, butter and water**” Question: ‘So tell me, what have you done for food?

  26. “… Client lives with her son who is disabled and has learning difficulties - has virtually no food in her cupboards and due to debts, all but £3.45 of her income is taken up with paying off the debts and rent arrears.  “… lady in her 60s who lives on pension credit and income from a small cleaning job. Was homeless last year but a local charity was able to help her move into a flat where her rent is paid by Housing Benefit. She gets by on a small income by living frugally - a Christmas hamper would be a huge blessing to her” Christmas Hamper Appeal 2013 Examples of nominations Received so far