Home > Magazine > Magazine Articles

Chipping Barnet Foodbank 2016

The Chipping Barnet Foodbank has now been open for 4 years.  The Foodbank helps to feed people in desperate need and supplies enough food for a few days in exchange for a voucher from an authorised voucher holder (these are located in places like churches, doctors’ surgeries and rehab centres).  Supporting this venture are around 120 volunteers who are rota-ed on to help during the Foodbank opening times of Tuesday afternoons (12 – 2 pm) and Saturday mornings (10 am – 12 noon), as well as to sort donations on a Monday evening and Thursday morning.


The biggest change for the Foodbank this year has been a move to new premises.  In July the Foodbank vacated the Salvation Army Hall which had been its home since opening in 2012 and moved to St Peter’s Parish Centre.  There has been lots of good feedback on the move, the ambience is cosy and welcoming, and maybe less intimidating than the big hall.  It’s also easier for the volunteers as the back-up stock of food is situated in the garage next door so extra supplies are always on hand.


There was good attendance and useful workshops at a Food Insecurity Forum held in October where two eminent professors, Pat Caplan and Alex Murdock from Goldsmiths’ and London South Bank universities presented their research findings (international perspective on foodbanks and an ethnographic comparison between Chipping Barnet foodbank and one in Pembrokeshire).


The recent AGM discussed that the number of people being fed with the voucher scheme has actually decreased over the last year (by 22%).  This could be due to a number of factors, and we think it’s unlikely that the number of people needing help has diminished.  One of the reasons is probably that the Chipping Barnet Foodbank has been giving out bulk parcels of food to several organisations, such as Barnet Leaving Care Team, refugee groups, and The Rainbow Centre which serves Dollis Valley Estate, who will then share it out amongst the people they are aware of that need assistance,.


If you would like to support the Foodbank in any way, please visit the website to look up opportunities for volunteering (they are particularly looking for people with fundraising skills at the moment) and there are regular ongoing training sessions in place for those interested in volunteering or becoming a team leader.  It also lists on the website the items the Foodbank are looking for if people are wanting to donate.  They are also welcoming financial support so if you feel you are able to give an amount monthly, there are standing order forms on the website and the support would be very much appreciated.


Website is here: https://chippingbarnet.foodbank.org.uk/

The Foodbank is also on Facebook and they will give you regular updates of which items are needed:


Helen O’Sullivan - Foodbank Volunteer