Harrow Foodbank

“If your brother becomes poor…uphold him” (Leviticus 25:35)

Harrow Foodbank is a local interfaith social action project to which Mosaic has become a significant contributor.

It’s as easy as this! When you are next doing your supermarket shopping, please purchase a few extra items for someone who is in need – you can get an up to date list of items that are in demand from the Harrow Foodbank website www.harrow.foodbank.org.uk. Items can then be deposited in the container on the ground floor when you are next visiting Bessborough Road.

By this simple action, you will help to put a stop to stories such as this: A primary school boy stopped attending school recently because he could not face the embarrassment of having no money for lunch. On visiting his home the school’s liaison officer discovered there was no food, except a little oats and milk. The mother’s purse was empty. She explained that her husband had left her and that the benefits were in his name. The support worker estimated that it would take two to four months for the benefits to be re-assessed. Fortunately, a local foodbank was able to step in to help, enabling the boy to return to school.

Last year Britain’s foodbanks fed 128,687 people like this. This year the number is expected to rise to over 290,000 and many of them are living close to our homes. Today in Harrow there are many families struggling to put food on the table. For people on low incomes, a sudden crisis – redundancy, benefit delay or even an unexpected bill – can mean going hungry. Every day parents are skipping meals to feed their children and people are forced to choose between paying the rent and eating.

The Harrow Foodbank, which opened in June 2013, has been chosen as a social action project by Mosaic.  Mosaic members donate food and other items, and also assist the Harrow Foodbank by collecting donated food and other items from shoppers at local Morissons and Tesco stores,


How does Harrow Foodbank work?
Care professionals such as doctors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis. The vouchers can be exchanged for three days of food at the foodbank. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea and, hopefully in future, a hot meal,  and are able to signpost people to agencies who can help resolve the longer-term problem. As foodbanks are an emergency food-provision service, it is important to get clients in touch with organisations who can help them address the underlying problem.

How did foodbanks begin?
The Harrow Foodbank has been launched with help from The Trussell Trust. The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997 by Paddy and Carol Henderson to help orphans in Bulgaria but when a woman in Salisbury challenged them to do something for hungry people locally they set up a foodbank in their garden shed to provide short-term emergency food. In 2004, a second foodbank was launched in Gloucester, and the Trussell Trust foodbank network has been growing ever since. There are now over 325 foodbanks are currently operating in the UK. The organisers stress that the foodbank is open to people of all faiths and to those of no faith. Dietary/religious needs will be respected and accommodated wherever possible by Harrow Foodbank. Food parcels have been designed by dietitians to provide recipients with nutritionally balanced food.

Jewish Support
Among the charitable trusts and business supporters of the Trussell Trust is The Pears Foundation, a British family foundation which believes that concern for social justice is central to being Jewish. The Pears Foundation supports Jewish and non-Jewish people and projects that place social action and responsibility at the heart of their work.

Further information

If you would like to help with any of the practical tasks at the Foodbank such as packing, sorting, collecting, etc or for further information about the Harrow Foodbank, and to sign up for their newsletter, phone 020 8863 6131, e-mail info@harrow.foodbank.org.uk, or visit www.harrow.foodbank.org.uk

Friday 2nd August 2013

Dear Mosaic,
Thank you for your support of the Harrow Foodbank. Your donation of 104.2 kg, which has helped to create at least 157 meals, is very much appreciated and has helped us to meet the needs of our clients. Please thank all your community members for their efforts and contribution to this very worthy cause.

So far more than 12 tonnes of food has generously been donated through supermarket collections and by various groups, businesses and individuals within Harrow to help local people who are in crisis. To date, we have helped over 100 people.

Thank you again for your support.

Yours sincerely
Antonette Anthony
On behalf of Harrow Foodbank