Project information

Tower Hamlets Foodbank - Growing the Service

To grow the Tower Hamlets foodbank service through the opening of three additional foodbank centres in Isle of Dogs, Bow & Stepney.

January 2013 - December 2013

Charity information: First Love Foundation

First Love Foundation logo
  • Need


    No Money + No Food = CRISIS

    Tower Hamlets is the second most deprived borough in London and third most deprived in the UK - 80% of residents live below the poverty line and also has the highest level of child poverty in the UK. It is against this backdrop that families find themselves in real crisis, be it through illness, debt, low income, benefit delay, unemployment (generational) & domestic violence to name a few.

    The situation is further compounded rising food/energy prices.


    Foodbank works to combat hidden hunger in the community through the provision of emergency donations of food to those in CRISIS. Donations of long-life food is sourced from the local community, which is then distributed through partnership with front-line care professionals who help to identify people who are in crisis. Upon attendance at a foodbank centre they receive a listening ear & are signposted on to possible areas of help. They also receive a donation of food enough for 10 meals (3 days)

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To fully establish the foodbank scheme, ensuring full coverage across the Tower Hamlets


    » Establish a network of foodbank centres in all wards in the borough. There are currently 3 foodbank centres, the plan is to open 3 more centres.
    » Recruit/develop a team of volunteers skilled in key-working/listening skills in order to offer a more effective advocacy service at foodbank centres

    What success will look like

    Success will be the establishment of 3 additional foodbank centres in the next 12-18 months resourced with a team of 40 fully developed/skilled volunteers, able to deliver capacity

    Aim 2

    To garner support from the community and beyond to facilitate sustainability for the project


    » Develop the streams of food donations through building relationships with stakeholders from across the community - schools, churches, corporations
    » To develop a number of funding streams to ensure financial sustainability for the project

    What success will look like

    Success will be the establishment of sustainable inflows of donations (food etc.,) through the building of a solid network of support from 20 schools, 20 churches & 15 businesses

    Aim 3

    To tackle the culture of worklessness that currently exists in the borough.


    » Through Foodbank, we will provide volunteering opportunities to the local community using this opportunity to develop a work ethos & self-sufficiency
    » We will, through building partnerships with our network, develop social enterprises to provide paid work opportunities to the long-term unemployed

    What success will look like

    Success will be the engagement and development of 20 volunteers that were previously long-term unemployed, fully engaged in the work of Foodbank in Tower Hamlets

  • Impact


    We aim to become an effective partner with other civic agencies (Police, Social Services etc.,) able to respond to critical situations people face - and be part of the solution. We expect to feed 5000 people in the next 3 years. We also aim, through our volunteering scheme and social enterprise, to recruit and develop 20 volunteers per year, thus reducing (generational unemployment (worklessness) & benefits dependency' ethic, raising self esteem and confidence through education and mentoring


    There is a risk that as a result of rising food prices we are not able to secure enough food donations from the community (via supermarket collections), which would impact the service we provide. We are forging strong relationships with organisations based in Canary Wharf and the City as well as food retailers. The basis of the relationship is partnership, where various methods are being developed to facilitate timely inflows of donation/support through Corporate Social Responsibility schemes


    Funders of this project will receive bi-monthly newsletters outlining progress as well as a quarterly project report that gives more detailed information - people fed, volunteers engaged, no of volunteer hours, amount of food donated and amount of food distributed etc.,

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 Management Salary for Volunteer Coordinator
      £20,000 Staffing Administrator (FT)
      £6,000 Miscellaneous Recruitment & Development of Volunteers/Bookkeeping
  • Background


    Tower Hamlets is the 2nd most deprived borough in London & one of the top 3 poorest boroughs in the UK. The issues are numerous - disadvantages in income, health, housing & crime. It is the most densely populated borough in London with a population of 237,900 living in an area 7.6sq miles and has a level of worklessness three times the national average. In a borough where the affluent in Canary Wharf, literally live next to the poor, Tower Hamlets has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK


    The foodbank service is accessible to the entire community. Given the levels of deprivation and child poverty within Tower Hamlets, we have worked closely in partnership with children centres, schools and social services to better serve families experiencing food and fuel poverty as a result of family breakdown, domestic violence, mental illness etc. As a result, in our first 18 months of operations we have fed 2,300 people, over half of which are children - and demand continues to grow.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our team possesses a wide range of business & third sector skills which we have used to establish this project. This has enabled us to build relationships across the local community (churches, the public, companies & business etc) in addition to developing stakeholder relationships with civic, community and business alike - all of which has helped us to deliver the best possible service to the residents of Tower Hamlets.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Denise Bentley

    Denise is the Manager of Tower Hamlets Foodbank - responsible for the strategic direction and day to day management of the project


will feed a family of four for three days

Foodbank offered real, quick, practical help when needed. No family should have to go without basic food, heat or light in this day & age