‘This is about life and death’: Lewisham food bank facing closure without support

The food bank has set a goal of £25,000 in order to continue to run (We Care)
The food bank has set a goal of £25,000 in order to continue to run (We Care)

A Lewisham food bank will soon close if it cannot raise enough money to cover the now exorbitant energy, rent and food bills, one of its co-founder’s has said.

The We Care food bank & community hub, run from Kath’s Place charity shop in Deptford, has issued an appeal for help as it now faces a £25,000 shortfall.

Due to the the cost of living crisis, the food bank now faces a food bill of £498 a month, up from £68, and an estimated energy bill for the year of £30,000 - the previous year it had been just £700.

“This is about life and death,” Ray Woolford, co-founder of the food bank told the Standard.

“If we go, these people will die. It’s not about heating or eating, it’s literally about life and death.”

Established in 2014, the hub, which serves as a refuge and advice centre alongside providing food, - fitted to dietary and faith requirements - has become an essential support blanket for the 3,000 people it continues to serve on a daily basis.

Such is the cost of living crisis, Mr Woolford revealed 90 per cent of those who use the foodbank are currently employed.

Even some parents now fear their children will be taken by social services if their child’s school finds out they use the foodbank, he said.

“We’re crucial to the local community.

“The people who come here are ones who feel ashamed and that they’ve failed, it’s not people on benefits.

“It’s the people who may be entrepreneurs who have been forced to sell their business.”

The foodbank has set up a Crowdfunder page in order to help reach its goal of £25,000 which has since been supported by former prime minister, Gordon Brown, who in tandem with his wife, has forgoed his £150 council tax rebate.

To donate to the foodbank, visit here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/hunger-alert--help-save-we-care-food-bank-community-hub-from-closure