Harrow Foodbank

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

Harrow foodbanks’ website states.  “We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry.  That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crises”

Harrow Foodbank (which opened in June 2013) is part of the nationwide network of foodbanks supported by the Trussell Trust, working to tackle food poverty and hunger across the UK.   In addition Harrow foodbank support charities and organisations locally and in the surrounding areas by providing them with surplus stock.

The Foodbank is open to all citizens with dietary/religious needs respected and accommodated whenever possible by the foodbank.

What do we know about the need for the Harrow foodbank currently?
Harrow foodbank report that in 2018-19 2622 local people were given emergency food parcels.  1044 children needed support from the local foodbank. 47.9 tons of food were given out.  (Source – Harrow foodbank website).  Since then both the COVID pandemic  and the cost of living crises have contributed to the increase use of food banks.

Re-establishing the Harrow foodbank collection point
Mosaic chose Harrow Foodbank as a social action project in 2013 and contributed to the Harrow foodbank from the old building in Bessborough Road.  In August 2013 we received a letter from Harrow Foodbank thanking us for the 104 kg we had donated (157 meals).  Please help us re-establish this important inter-faith/cross community social action project through the new collection point near the coat racks at MJC in Stanmore Hill.

It is easy for you to contribute::
When you are next doing your shopping, please purchase some items for someone who is in need and is on the Harrow Foodbank shopping list.  There is a list (updated monthly) from  –the Harrow Foodbank website https://harrow.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/.   We will also have this list at our collection point at Stanmore Hill.  Items can then be deposited in the container near the coat racks at. MJC in Stanmore Hill.

If you want to take items direct to the foodbank (eg heavy items) please do so.  (Unit H2 Phoenix Business Centre, Harrow, Greater London HA1 2SP, UK. ( On entry to the Business Centre Drive straight ahead, turn right down the slope and right again).  See the website. https://harrow.foodbank.org.uk/  /call  0208 416 7344/0752 1650265 or email info@harrow.foodbank.org.uk for opening times).

If anyone would like to help with moving the items from MJC to the Harrow Food bank warehouse – which is opposite Harrow Tescos please contact:  admin@choosemasaic.org.

Real stories from Harrow foodbank.

The people at the foodbank were wonderful, they understood and saved us.”
Having always worked and never claimed benefits, Holly, 29, from Chichester was bringing up her four-year-old daughter, Phoebe alone. She was determined to give her the best possible start in life, but when Phoebe suddenly fell ill, Holly was forced to turn to a foodbank for help.

Under normal circumstances, Holly could just about scrape by, but when her daughter became poorly and had to spend three weeks in hospital, she was forced to give up her part-time job. When Phoebe recovered, they returned home to empty kitchen cupboards, bills racking up and no income to support them…… After discussions with the local Citizens Advice Bureau she was referred to the foodbank. Although Holly’s situation is still precarious, knowing the foodbank is there in an emergency is a huge weight off her shoulders.

How does the foodbank work?
The foodbank works with local agencies such as Citizens advice, children’s centres and health visitors.  They will refer to Harrow Foodbank for emergency support – usually for 3 days worth of food.  These agencies as well as the foodbank are able to signpost people to organisations who can help resolve the longer-term problem.  As foodbanks are an emergency food-provision service it is important to ensure that clients are put in touch with suitable agencies that can help them address the underlying problem.

 How did the Trussell Trust foodbanks begin?
Harrow Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of 428 foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger across the UK

The Foodbank Network was founded in 2004 after four years of developing the original foodbank based in Salisbury. Since then The Trussell Trust has helped communities work together to launch foodbanks nationwide in a wide range of towns and cities.  The Harrow Foodbank was established in June 2013.

In 2022/23, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided 2,986,203 three-day emergency food supplies and support to UK people in crisis. Of these, 1,139,553 were distributed for children.  This is a record number for Trussell Trust.

As a network, we want to see more people helped out of crisis and fewer people needing foodbanks in the future. That’s why The Trussell Trust and local foodbanks are working together to develop new ways to help people out of crisis through programmes like More Than Food.

To find out more about The Trussell Trust visit www.trusselltrust.org.

Jewish support for foodbanks.
“The Pears Foundation, a family foundation believes that concern for social justice is central to being jewish.  The Pears Foundation has a long term relationship with the Trussell Trust foodbank network and has provided core funding since 2007.

It’s difficult to accept that there are families anywhere in the world who can’t be sure of their next meal; the fact that these families are right here in Britain, in our own community, is unthinkable. Faith groups have a long tradition of supporting the most vulnerable in their community. The Trussell Trust has a tried and tested model for training volunteers, establishing a network of referral agencies and meeting the many logistical challenges involved in operating a foodbank. We see foodbanks as an excellent example of how to mobilise local community support to meet one of the most fundamental of needs”.  Sir Trevor Pears. CMG.

In 2020 the Pears Foundation made a grant of £1m to support the Trussell Trust’s 5 year income maximisation strategy aimed at tackling destitution by raining incomes and reducing the need for food banks.

Further information.
If you would like to volunteer the website outlines many ways to get involved.  These include warehouse volunteer (weigh, sort and pack food into parcels), volunteer co-ordinator (co-ordinating the issuing and distribution of foodbank vouchers to referral partners or helping at a foodbank centre (meeting clients to have an informal chat, discuss their situation and signpost them to further longer term support.  Full training is given for all the roles.

You can also sign up for their newsletter.
See the website. https://harrow.foodbank.org.uk/  /call  0208 416 7344/0752 1650265 or email info@harrow.foodbank.org.uk for opening times.