Vol­un­teers to gather food to help needy

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

WITH the num­ber of fam­i­lies re­liant on food­banks con­tin­u­ing to rise, vol­un­teers have taken it upon them­selves to help.

Work­ing with the char­ity vIn­spired, a team of six will brave the cold to col­lect food do­na­tions out­side Sains­bury’s su­per­mar­ket in Ruis­lip from 2pm to 8pm to­mor­row (Thurs­day).

They hope to col­lect up to 300 non-per­ish­able items from shop­pers at the Long Drive store, all of which will go to Hilling­don Food­bank, which runs five cen­tres in the bor­ough.

Or­gan­iser Lind­say McDougall, of Ab­bots­bury Gar­dens, Eastcote, said: “It is quite shock­ing, I think, that since 2011 the num­ber of peo­ple us­ing food­banks has in­creased by 610 per cent. I think that’s a crazy statis­tic for the sixth rich­est coun­try in the world.

“They are choos­ing be­tween ei­ther eat­ing or heat­ing. For me it’s not even a con­cept I can un­der­stand.”

For­mer Hay­don School pupil Miss McDougall, 23, will also be hand­ing out leaflets on the day, to­gether with the other vol­un­teers, who in­clude learn­ers from Choices 4 All, a char­ity that works with peo­ple with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and other dis­abil­i­ties.

Miss McDougall will later give a pre­sen­ta­tion at the char­ity’s learn­ing cen­tre, in Pin­ner Road, Har­row, en­cour­ag­ing other stu­dents to come up with their own cam­paigns to help tackle food poverty.

She said: “It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to en­gage with their lo­cal com­mu­nity and things that are go­ing on within their area, as well as na­tional and in­ter­na­tional causes.”

More than 900,000 chil­dren and adults used food­banks in 2013-14, up from around 350,000 the year be­fore, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from the Trus­sell Trust, a char­ity that runs food­banks across the coun­try.

Hilling­don Food­bank, which is run by the same or­gan­i­sa­tion, has food­banks in Uxbridge, Hayes, North­wood and West Dray­ton.

For more in­for­ma­tion about to­mor­row’s food drive, email lind­say.mcdougall@vin­spired.com

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