Hounslow Food Bank

Many of you may have seen the black bin for food collection at the back of the church and wonder where this food is taken. For 3 mornings in August along with my mum and brother Harry, I went to the food bank to see what happens and help in the work they do there.

Every Wednesday morning volunteers meet at St. Paul’s church, Bath Road to either serve free teas, coffees and cake to members of the community, or be on hand to distribute food to those in need.

We met Michael, who collects the food from St. John’s and other churches. Harry and I helped him to unload boxes full of supplies from the back of his car. We also met Eileen who manages the main store cupboard. We were then given the task of putting food on to the relevant shelf and checking the sell buy dates.

There seemed to be certain foods that they were running low. Harry and I began to identify items that we might like, eg ketchup and biscuits. Other items included sugar (small bags better than large), nappies, baby wipes, curry sauces, baby food, tinned puddings, tinned fruit and pasta sauces.

Everyone that comes with a voucher, having been referred by either schools or social agencies, get broadly the same types of foods, with families getting larger amounts. The atmosphere is extremely sociable as the free cafe provides a place for the community to come together and a welcoming place for those coming specifically to the food bank, so that they do not feel singled out or embarrassed.

Please consider donating food if you don’t already, and perhaps go along to the cafe on a Wednesday morning (10 am – 11.30 am). We will shortly be calling for helpers to help Eileen categorise food before the supplies from the Harvest festivals appear.

MOLLY PEARS