The UCKG HelpCentre has opened its first food bank in the UK at its premises on St Andrew’s Road, Plaistow, and is now giving away around 150 bags of non- perishable food and other necessities each week.
The food and essential toiletries that are being handed out are all donations from the HelpCentre’s members, and a team of 12 volunteers are on site at the HelpCentre on Saturday mornings from 11am to 1pm to give them to local people in need.
“Our aim is to provide some respite for people in one of London’s poorest boroughs where a staggering 52% of children live in poverty,” said Bishop Alvaro Lima, the UCKG HelpCentre’s Bishop in Charge. “However, it will be the first of many, as we are in the process of introducing food banks at a number of our HelpCentres, following the success of our additional soup kitchens opened through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unlike many other food banks, we are not asking those who come along for proof of their situation. We are alert to the fact that there is a lot of in-work poverty in the area and that people fall through the safety nets depending on factors like their immigration status.”
The UCKG’s initiative has been welcomed by Newham Council, who are already referring people to the food bank, and Darius-Delali Baird the Newham Food Alliance service coordinator visited the premises prior to the opening.
Note to editors:
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all- comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Newham Food Alliance is an open collaboration, supported by Newham council, of dozens of organisations from across the borough working to assist residents who are experiencing financial challenges that are preventing them from getting the food they need.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.