Up to one tonne of food was given away by shoppers in Whitechapel to help local people in crisis, through the Tower Hamlets Foodbank at Sainsbury’s on Saturday.
Denis Bentley, manager of the Foodbank, said: “We had a very good response and people have been very generous. The main point of Foodbank is to fight hidden hunger that exists in the community.
“It’s not just for people who are in a short time crisis, but also for those who work but just don’t have enough money for food due the current economic situation.”
Tower Hamlets Foodbank is a non-profit organisation that seeks to help individuals who face challenges such as illness, benefit delays or redundancy.
Francesca Mott, 26, who donated a bag of food, said: “It’s important to contribute to the community and this is a really good idea as it is so easy just to pick something up while you shop.”
This is the first time Foodbank collected food donations at Sainsbury’s and Edward Collet, PR for Sainsbury’s Fulham, said that if this operation is successful in London, he would like to launch it nationally.
“It’s the best charity you could have, as it is very easy for someone just to pick up a tin of beans, which may not seem like a lot, but will mean a great deal to someone who needs it,” he said.
Tower Hamlets Foodbank is totally volunteer-driven and depends on public generosity.
Diana Pennant, 29, a volunteer, said: “I have noticed a lot of the rich and poor living side by side but they don’t integrate. Those people don’t have a voice and don’t know who to ask for help and I am here to help represent those people and make a difference.”
Over Christmas, Foodbank collected over 1.6 tonnes of food, which was donated by customers of Tesco’s Bromley by Bow, Waitrose Canary Wharf, as well as schools, churches and organisations from across the community. The 161 Christmas hampers fed 460 people and helped save Christmas for many local families in one of the most deprived areas of London.
The Foodbank is an initiative of the Trussell Trust, a Christian charity.