Last week I attended the official launch of the Watford Foodbank which is currently based at the Leavesden Green Community Centre. We are looking to refurbish the centre as part of our commitment to being a community business so the Foodbank will need to find a new home soon.
Watford Foodbank provides emergency food supplies to people in crisis, and the Trust, along with the churches and New Hope Trust, is supporting the scheme. This service is run on a voucher basis, whereby parcels can be collected by families who are need of an emergency food supply. Vouchers can be obtained from a number of outlets, including Watford Citizens Advice Bureau.
The Foodbank has been operating for the last few months on a small scale while it has been starting up and getting established. Now, after 70 food boxes have been distributed to those who need food in an emergency, the Foodbank has been officially launched.
The idea is that non-perishable food is donated to the Foodbank which then, distributes it to people who are struggling to feed themselves or their family. This could be for a number of reasons such as illness, redundancy, family breakdown, debt or a delay in receiving benefits. The Foodbank provides them with a box containing three days’ worth of food.
The idea for a Watford Foodbank came from our very own Financial Inclusion Officer,Nazma Abdul-Karim, who worked closely with Watford New Hope Trust to get it off the ground. Also, John Chamberlain, our Manager at Leavesden Green Community Centre, has also helped to set up the distribution centre there. It is affiliated by the Trussell Trust as part of their national network of Foodbanks.
Our role in actively initiating and supporting Watford Foodbank was recognised in the launch speeches (by Dorothy Thornhill, Watford’s elected Mayor) as this is an example where we have worked successfully with partners to help those in our communities who are struggling during difficult times.
If you would like to find out any more about the Watford Foodbank or anything else happening at the Trust, please go to http://www.wcht.org.uk or please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WatfordCommunityHousingTrust.