Below the breadline

Vulnerable people are being protected from food hardship by the team at the Dalgarno Trust Food Bank in Kensington & Chelsea. For the last 4 years, the Food Bank has been providing a couple bags of groceries for up to 70 people a week on Thursday afternoons from the Trust’s Centre on Dalgarno Way, W10. Mackenzie Chapman, Dalgarno Trust’s Head of Operations (pic right) says, a group of Notting Hill residents set up the Food Bank and continue to volunteer and support it. “People are suffering from high deprivation and food poverty,” says Chapman. “This is a means by which they can sustain themselves week by week.” The Dalgarno Trust Food Bank, the only one in the area, steps in to safeguard individuals and families from falling too far below the breadline, some awaiting benefit payments, others suffering with disability, or old and frail. George Barrow (pic left) Volunteer Food Bank coordinator says “there is no typical recipient customer, people from all walks and circumstances of life can find themselves in severe hardship. The Food Bank provides staples, and when available a few treats to keep people in difficult circumstances going for up to a week.” Barrow adds “we also thinking more and more about health & well-being issues, giving people a chance to hit their 5-a-day fruit and veg target, to treats such as coffee, jam, Christmas pudding, coconut water, a pot plant (donated examples from past food banks), that really have a positive mental effect on individuals that often don’t have something to smile about in the week.” The Trust has a direct relationship with M&S and the local Co-operative. M&S supplies food that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. The website neighbourly.com acts as a portal to bring M&S store surplus and the Trust together. Barrow says: “My motivation to volunteer was that I could see something that deserves support, works, has the opportunity to do a lot more, and is brilliant at making a difference to people’s lives and their ability to survive and hopefully progress. The variety and volume of food has dramatically improved and we are covering our costs. Now we want to increase the number of recipients we can help and the way we can help them.” One thing that could help the Food Bank would be to be sponsored. Chapman says: “It would be really great to have a partnership with a business that could sponsor the Food Bank”. dalgarnotrust 

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