Greenford Hall, one of the borough’s most recognisable buildings, has been temporarily transformed into a food distribution hub. The move is part of the council’s Ealing Together COVID-19 response.
Volunteers from The Grove Community, a local group working out of the Gurnell Grove estate, are working with The Felix Project to operate the hub. Other local groups are also involved: The Four One One Out, Havelock primary and nursery, Golden Opportunity Skills and Development, EASE and Homestart Ealing.
Together, they are helping upwards of 500 struggling families across the borough, and this number is set to increase
Peter Mason, cabinet lead for Ealing Together, said: “Figures from the Greater London Authority show there are around 1.5 million people in London who live in food insecurity, and 60% of these people are working. Sadly, COVID-19 has pushed some local people, who already live on the edge of poverty, over the edge. I am hoping that Ealing Together can bring people and groups together who want to help.
“To be clear, this hub isn’t set up to help people who are shielding, but for those who have a daily struggle to put good food on the table for themselves and their families. I am pleased that the council has been able to support it in this way and I am confident that the generosity and community spirit that people in Ealing have instinctively shown throughout the lockdown will be extended for those who are struggling in different ways as it lifts.”
The Felix Project collects fresh food from supermarkets and restaurants that cannot be sold and distributes it to charities. It is currently working with more than 30 groups in Ealing.
Mark Tate, team leader at The Grove Community, said: “Our volunteers have been working incredibly hard to get the food hub up and running and we are very grateful to everyone who has played a part in making this happen. We know first-hand the needs and struggles of our local communities and how important this kind of support can be. We expect the need to be there for some time to come and welcome all donations of food and items for distribution, as well as cash donations to support our work.”
The hub is currently looking for donations of staple foods, such as tinned beans, tinned and fresh fruit, rice, pasta, potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, toilet roll and other personal hygiene products. They are also looking for donations of bags for life, boxes and crates.
All donations can be dropped at Greenford Hall, Ruislip Rd, Greenford, UB6 9QN between 10am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.