A Halloween food donation initiative brought in a tonne of food for an east London foodbank.
The ‘Trick or Eat’ initiative saw shops and homes across Hackney and Walthamstow host food collection boxes on October 31.
The drive was organised by shop local discount card The Local Buyers Club for the fifth year running.
READ MORE: Green Party London Mayor candidate ‘committed’ despite also running in Hackney Demand for food banks has increased by 70% this year, and club co-founder Jenna Fansa said it’s a great way to teach children about giving at Halloween.
She said: “While there is a lot of wealth in Hackney, there’s also a lot of poverty. The food banks need communities to step up and support and so we wanted to help.”
Jenna said around 70 shops and homes took part this year, with two thirds based in Stoke Newington.
She says: “’Trick or Eat’ builds awareness. Businesses love taking part – it’s a way to give back to the communities they serve and build good will. They pulled out all the stops – lucky dip boxes, the book shop gave away books, and Hub (a womenswear shop) made brownies.”
Hackney Foodbank reported food donations have dropped by 23% this year, but in the week leading up to Halloween this year, the foodbank fed 464 people compared to only 100 back in 2018.
Pat Fitzsimons, CEO of Hackney Foodbank, said demand has risen due to the cost-of-living crisis: “With stagnating wages and benefits that don’t cover the essentials for people, demand rises steeply as soon as people have to put on their heating – it’s heat or eat.”
Jarr Market, based in Stoke Newington High Street, is involved for the second year running.
Founder Jessica Rimoch says they wanted to do their bit to help the food banks.
She said: “We get involved because donations to the Hackney Foodbank are at an all-time low unfortunately, and simultaneously people need the food bank more than ever.”
Jessica agrees on the initiative’s power to unite the local community. She said: “Things like this bring Stoke Newington together in the best kind of way, to support those in need in a fun and easy way.”