On Friday I visited the Ealing Foodbank in Acton to find out more about the good work which they do.
Clients are referred to the foodbank café by partner bodies (these can be schools, nurses, social workers, charities and others) and are given a voucher. Each voucher entitles the client to receive enough for them and their family for three days worth of meals. Clients can receive a maximum of three vouchers every six months.
I met with volunteers, helpers and staff to learn more about the problems facing people in Ealing. I heard of the many and varied reasons why people use the foodbank, and I was reassured by the dedication and service of the volunteers. I was told that the week before Christmas the foodbank served 19 clients in two hours – which is still short of their record number, 24. The Acton café is just one of the five foodbanks which operate in Ealing Borough, providing a network of emergency supplies to those in the most need.
As well as providing food, they do supply some of the other necessities (such as toothpaste, soap and toilet paper), but above all they provide a warm place for people to come, a cup of tea and a friendly chat.
Cllr Alexander Stafford visiting the Ealing Foodbank