Southwark Foodbank is running at a two-year low of supplies while bracing itself for a surge in demand this summer, as families who rely on free school meals face going hungry in the holidays.
The increase in parents seeking help feeding their children re-occurs each summer, as schools break up for six weeks.
Felicia Boshorin, project manager of the Pecan foodbank in Peckham High Street, said: “We are short of food across all of Southwark. We’re at the lowest we have been for two years and looking for more donations.”
The food bank held a Holiday Club on Monday at the Ann Bernadt Children’s Centre in Chandler Way, and provided cooked meals for kids and families that came down.
Two more will be held especially for families on each Monday. The next Holiday Club will be held at John Donne Primary School on August 2, and another the following week at the One O’clock Club in Peckham Rye Park.
“We have already seen the numbers increase each day,” Felicia said. “Across our food banks [including at Bermondsey Methodist Church] we are looking after about 50 families.
“There are many more we could help if we had the resources. Our system involves asking local schools to recommend families to us who need help, so it’s schools who help us pick the most needy.”
Felicia added that there were certain items the three food banks were currently running low on. “We can’t have people eating exactly the same food from us every day,” she said.
The list of the most-needed items includes: rice pudding, fruit juice, tinned meats, tinned fruits and toiletries, long-life milk, and coffee.
Residents can make donations to the Southwark Foodbank at collection bins located at: Surrey Quays Shopping Centre customer services; Tesco in Old Kent Road, and the Elephant and castle Shopping Centre customer services.