The gift of giving: Where to donate food across east London this Christmas

Volunteer Amy Rafferty working at the South West food bank in West Belfast. The Belfast foodbank has

Food banks rely on donations to continue supporting people in crisis. - Credit: PA

Christmas can be a difficult time for many people and a donation of essential pantry goods can go a long way in helping food banks support people in crisis. 


Here's a round-up of food banks you can donate to across east London this Christmas.


Bow Foodbank 


This independent charity has served the Tower Hamlets community since 2014. Following the pandemic, it has offered pre-bagged items, fresh fruit, vegetables and extra food to families with children once a week. Ahead of Christmas, its Winter Appeal is calling for donations ranging from festive extras (£6), 50 lunchbox fillers (£15) and a portion of fruit and vegetables (£10). 
Donations can be made here: https://patchworkit.com/41197/winterappeal


Neighbourhood Bites 


This food bank, located in Bethnal Green, aims to provide hot food and companionship to those most in need. Every Tuesday, volunteers provide people in need with a hot meal, clothes and other services where possible. Food donations can be dropped off or picked up by one of the volunteers. Some of the services most in-demand items include wet wipes, deodorant and shower gel. 
Cash donations can also be made via the website here: https://www.neighbourhoodbites.org.uk


Newham District Foodbank 


Donate food to the Newham District Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust's network of 428 foodbanks. Donations ranging from £12 for a food bank parcel to £20 for five hot meals at the centre's community café can be made via its fundraising page here: https://localgiving.org/charity/ascension


Collier Row and Romford Foodbank 


Backed by charity The Trussell Trust, the Wykeham Centre and Church House, St. Edwards Church Centre and the Romford Baptist Church all offer food banks. Items urgently needed by each of the services include long-life fruit juice, tinned fish, jam, custard and toiletries. 
A list of drop off donation locations can be found here: https://collierrowromford.foodbank.org.uk


Chapters Foodbank 


Located at 29 Telegraph Mews in Ilford, the Chapters Foodbank helps vulnerable people by providing seven days of emergency food supplies. The foodbank is currently requesting donations of baby food, cooking oils, noodles, sugar and various other essentials and toiletries. Its full shopping list can be read here: 
http://chaptersfoodbank.org/current-needs


Harold Hill Foodbank 


As part of the nationwide network of facilities backed by The Trussell Trust, the Harold Hill Foodbank, located in Guardian Business Centre, works to provide food to those in desperate need of support. Needed items include coffee, biscuits, instant mash potato and shower gel. 
A list of food drop off locations can be viewed here: https://haroldhill.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food and cash donations can be made here: https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/donate