Number of food parcels given out has already tripled this year
Daphine Aikens with food bank client before the pandemic. Picture: Grahame Larter, Reach Plc
The Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank will be delivering to hundreds of homes across the borough right up to Christmas Eve.
The charity has already distributed three times more food parcels this year compared with 2019, and has twice moved to new storage spaces at the Olympia and the vacant Currys PC World in Fulham.
This Tuesday (22 December) founder Daphine Aikens explained how her volunteers are “pulling out all the stops” to help families, and people who will be on their own, to still have a special Christmas.
“Everyone was speculating about the second wave but no one knew what to expect,” said Ms Aikens, who received an MBE earlier this year.
“We have been extremely busy. There’s been no let up. It’s to do with bills people are having to pay and the lockdown.
“We’re doing 100 deliveries a day. We have pulled out all the stops to make sure Christmas is special for everyone.”
Ms Aikens, 53, who founded the borough’s first food bank in Fulham in 2010, said every food parcel contains “enough 10 meals per home”.
“We have included bread, fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and olive oil that we have been buying in with money that’s donated.
“And we have been supplying toiletries like body wash, shampoo, nappies, feminine hygiene and washing powder.
“This week we’re including an extra Christmas bag with biscuits, gravy granules, stuffing mix and cranberry sauce.”
She added: “It’s just to make some kind of difference where we can. And we will be delivering until Christmas Eve.”
Hammersmith And Fulham Foodbank founder and chief executive, Daphine Aikens
Ms Aikens praised her “huge” volunteer team of people who are retired or have been furloughed.
“Every single one deserves a reward,” she said. “They are all motivated by their experience of not having enough themselves, or from looking around and seeing that people are struggling.
“We have one guy from Dorking [Surrey] who joined us in April and was helping every day, and is now coming up three days a week. He has owned warehouses before so he knows an amazing amount.”
If you’re interested in volunteering with the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank, or would like to donate, visit their website.
Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter
December 22, 2020