This week Islington Labour councillors helped kick off the council’s Christmas food drive with donations to the Islington Food Bank.
According to statistics released by the Trussell Trust, their networks have distributed 658,048 food parcels between April and September this year – a 13% increase compared to the same period in 2017. The number one reason for referrals between April and September was benefit payments not covering the cost of essentials. The charity has also made clear that food bank use tends to increase in the second half of the year and during winter.
ln Islington we are seeing a steep rise in referrals to food banks due to government welfare reforms – there were 44 additional referrals from June to September this year due to the roll-out of Universal Credit.
Cllr Troy Gallagher, who proposed the council’s food drive, said:
“I don’t think Foodbanks should be necessary in 21st century Britain, and the world’s 5th largest economy, but the reality is that people are facing real hardship. Tory austerity and welfare reforms, including Universal Credit, are forcing people to turn to foodbanks and other charities for help.
“People in Islington are really struggling under this government, and I want to encourage local people to support their neighbours this Christmas with a donation to Islington Food Bank. I know that the people of Islington have a wonderful community spirit, and I have no doubt that local people will give generously.”
Islington Council opened the drive on Monday 3rd December, with collections for staff across multiple sites and public donations welcome at the Town Hall. Donations can be made by local people from 8am to 5pm on weekdays and from 8:30am to 12:30pm on Saturdays.
The Town Hall collection will run until 17th December. Islington Food Bank accepts collections every Monday and Saturday throughout the year at Highbury Roundhouse Youth and Community Centre, between 2pm and 5pm.