Mayor John Biggs
Despite all the challenges that this year has thrown at us, it has been heart-warming to see everyone pull together in the real spirit of the East End.
The council has worked alongside partners, residents and volunteers to support vulnerable people in our borough, a key part of which has been making sure everyone who needs help with food has access to it. We have worked together withfood banks, schools and cooked hot meal providers to support local people.
Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve set up a Voluntary Sector Food Distribution Hub to support 31 food banks in Tower Hamlets. Through this, we have been helping in excess of 6,500 residents a week access food and have distributed over 190 tonnes of food to local food providers since April.
The council also provided additional crisis and hardship grants for food and fuel by topping up the Resident Support Scheme grant and increasing the annual budget from £600,000 to £950,000. We also relaxed the eligibility criteria to enable residents to apply multiple times for food and energy, which was made available in addition to the usual hardship grant allocation.
However, despite this, the need for food support is greater than ever this year and local food providers have seen an unprecedented increase in demand for their services.
As we continue with the ongoing challenges of the second wave of Covid-19, supporting our residents remains our priority. However, many local food providers are reaching crisis point and need urgent support.
In response to this need, Tower Hamlets Council has launched an emergency food appeal on behalf of local food banks so these organisations can continue their vital work. We are asking partners, stakeholders and businesses for financial donations and corporate sponsorship to help us meet our target of crowdfunding £5,000 a month.
While the overall cost of continuing this service is significant, this monthly contribution will help buy additional and much needed food and household supplies to the 31 food providers in Tower Hamlets.
If you would like to support our food appeal, you can do so on the crowdfunding platform Spacehive. Please also share this appeal with your networks when you have the opportunity.
Lastly, I would like to thank those of you who have already provided support. We are grateful for the enormous generosity of individuals and business such as Investec and Lloyds of London among others, and the many members of the community and staff who volunteered to support our residents.
Mayor John Biggs
Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets
Posted on Thursday 3rd December 2020