Our Work

Join our community in the fight for a hunger-free Hackney.

Hackney Foodbank is aiming to achieve no less than a hunger-free Hackney, where everyone can afford to eat. We support people who are in crisis or trapped in poverty, with compassion and dignity. We do this by providing emergency food parcels, which offer practical, immediate relief in moments of crisis, and by connecting people with local organisations who can help them to address the root causes and wider effects of poverty in their lives.

Our three strategic objectives to achieve this vision:

  1. Become a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organisation that reflects the community we serve at all levels of the charity.
  2. Be sustainable (environmentally, financially and by promoting food independence).
  3. Provide effective foodbank and signposting services where they are needed most.

Everything we do at The Hackney Foodbank is underpinned by our values of Dignity, Compassion and Equity. We are committed to:

  • Making decisions that are informed by our beneficiaries’ priorities and preferences. This will ensure we are providing effective, appropriate services to our community.
  • Working collaboratively and in partnership with people and organisations that share our values. This will enable us to provide the fullest offer of support we can in a sensitive and holistic way.
  • Building awareness of, and actively bridging barriers to, accessing our services.  This will allow us to reach all members of our community who could benefit from our services.
  • Supporting our team of staff and volunteers through professional development and wellbeing provisions.
  • Staying informed and engaged in the conversations and action at a local and national level which impact our beneficiaries.

Summary

In 2011 we became part of the Trussell Trust’s nationwide network of food banks, adopting their voucher-based service model. We use a network of Hackney-based Referral Agencies to issue food vouchers, in addition to signposting and advice to people in crisis. With a voucher our beneficiaries can visit one of our five distribution centres; located in Hoxton, Dalston, Stoke Newington, and Upper Clapton, and redeem it for a 3-day parcel of food. Following this model, and together with the Trussell Trust, we believe it is possible to build a better, more just future for everyone in Hackney, the City of London, and East London more widely.

Organisational approach

Hackney Foodbank operates a warehouse and 5 distribution centres, from which it gives out nutritionally balanced 3-day parcels of food to people in crisis who have a foodbank voucher issued by a partner Referral Agency. Hackney Foodbank aims to ensure that our beneficiaries are provided with a fully entwined and enhanced support model: emergency food alongside accessible and appropriate advice from experienced specialists providing services on behalf of Hackney Foodbank.

We partner with a network of Referral Agencies: frontline professional organisations who work in Hackney with people in crisis. Each beneficiary can have their needs assessed by the Referral Agency and be issued with a foodbank voucher via an online e-referral database known as the ‘Data Collection System’ which is owned and operated nationally by the Trussell Trust.

How Hackney Foodbank works:

2020 at Hackney Foodbank

Our response to a crisis:

In 2020 Hackney Foodbank experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of 3-day parcels given out. Over the course of the year, our foodbank:

  • helped 20,018 people with food, via 9537 vouchers from 130 Referral Agencies.
  • served, on average, a community member in Hackney with 3 days worth of food from a Hackney Foodbank distribution centre once every 26 minutes.
  • worked with our Referral Agency partners to issue a voucher to someone in crisis, in our community, once every 55 minutes, every day of the year.
  • was supported by 180 volunteers who collected, sorted, packed, transported, and distributed 220 tonnes of food which was donated from thousands of generous donors.

Our donors:

In 2020 the generosity of our donors meant that we were able to provide emergency 3-day food parcels, which offer practical, immediate relief in moments of crisis. In addition, our donors enabled our work on connecting people with local organisations who can help them to address the root causes and wider effects of poverty in their lives. We very much rely on all of our donors and volunteers to continue our service – with donations of time and money and the continued participation of our community you have strengthened our work and helped to provide our beneficiaries a fully entwined and enhanced support model: emergency food alongside accessible and appropriate signposting to advice from experienced specialists providing services relevant to the crisis type of our beneficiaries.

Our volunteers:

Over 180 people gave freely of their time to Hackney Foodbank in 2020, collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, and distributing food for people in our community. This represents many thousands of hours of work. Our Hackney Foodbank volunteers represent every aspect of our vibrant borough. Through the donation of their time and expertise, this generous group serves as our organisation’s champions, advocates, and neighbourhood network in delivering our service to our beneficiaries. They have also been instrumental in aiding our efforts to raise awareness of our work in developing non-food support for our community in Hackney, and all over East London and the City.

Our Referral Agencies:

Working with our community members who are experiencing food poverty, our network of Referral Agencies provide support, advice, and signposting for people with no recourse to public funds, vicims of domestic violence, individuals with life-limiting health conditions, people who are homeless or have housing difficulties, and families with children. Many of our neighbours in Hackney have had their lives thrown into chaos as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic and our experienced referral agency partners are working with us on these varied and complex issues to ensure that our beneficiaries are given the best wrap-around support possible. This support includes advising our most vulnerable community members on income maximisation and financial inclusion to help them reduce their dependency on the services of a foodbank.