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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Haringey Foodbank now has new opening hours following a recent review and feedback from users. The new opening times are below

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can be helped by a Foodbank? All attendees to a Foodbank are referred by an agency (i.e. Citizen Advice, Job Centre, Social Services, Housing Department etc). They are given a voucher which they must bring with them when collecting?
  • What happens if people come without a voucher? Sadly, the Foodbank is unable to assist. The Foodbank has limited resources and must ensure it helps those assessed with the highest need. 
  • Does the Foodbank accept donations? Yes, it relies solely on donations from members of the public. You can download a standard shopping list of items by Clicking Here. Please note we cannot accept fresh or frozen food (bread, eggs, meat, veg etc.) This is due to us being unable to verify the storage prior to donation and the fact we do not have refrigeration access.
  • Can we only donate food and drink? No, the foodbank is always looking for other items such as toothpaste, soap, sanitary products, shampoo, washing up liquid etc. Please see this piece on the Trussell Trust website by clicking here.
  • Can we donate money? Yes, the Foodbank does not pay any of it's staff and all proceeds go into running costs of the Foodbank, including purchasing of food items which are not regularly donated. No money is given directly to people who come to collect. 
  • How can we donate? You can pop in to the Foodbank at any of the times below and donate food, non-food items and money/cheques. 

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This is such an important service. I have been volunteering to sort and give out food at the Selby Centre for a couple of months now and we see many people whose benefit payments have been delayed for many weeks due to the changeover from JSA to Universal Credit for some categories of claimants, or who have been 'sanctioned' which is often done for trivial reasons like being late for an interview. We see people who are unable to cook because they are living in a park or their energy companies have cut them off due to debt. And one who said 'it's either avoid mortgage arrears or eat'. You may also have seen Dawn Foster's piece in yesterday's Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/.../children-school-holidays-hungry-foodbanks .  We'll be collecting food from the public outside Tesco's in Stroud Green tomorrow Saturday 29 July. Things we often run out of are; juice; small (500g) packs of sugar; interesting and popular kinds of tinned veg (like sweetcorn, spinach, carrots rather than chick peas, beans or tomatoes - people have pride and tastes and it's good to offer them a bit of choice). Also not on the Trussell Trust list - although pretty important in any kitchen - are cooking oil and washing up liquid. And if anyone knows of some premises where we could have more space than the currently very cramped room at the Selby Centre, do please give us some leads! The food bank scene in the Daniel Blake film shows what is really needed - a shop-sized setup with a corner to let people sit and rest and have a cuppa. Some walk to Selby from as far away as Manor House because they don't have the bus fare. Thanks everyone!

Anne, thanks for highlighting the use of sanctions. My nephew is raising his young son, who has emotional and behavioural problems, on his own and he has been sanctioned about half a dozen times. On each occasion it was when his son's school called and asked him to either pick him up or to help to calm him down. Even a letter from the school confirming the reason for him missing an interview hasn't helped. The sanctioning system comes over as a means of punishing people for being on benefits rather than genuinely trying to weed out dodgy claimants.

That's appalling, it's so illustrative of the rigidity of the system which takes no account of unusual personal circumstances. Sometimes I wonder if it would be worth collecting a local dossier of such incidents to present to our local MPs and build up pressure for a more empathic and discerning system. 

I'm currently supporting a client with COPD (severe respiratory problems) who lives close to Manor House station.  He was sanctioned because he was unable to get to his last benefits appointment because he was in hospital.  He can't walk more than a couple of meters without becoming breathless and having to stop so he would only be able to get to a food bank if there was a bus stop VERY close.  Does anyone know if any of these food bank sites have a bus stop outside? Before anyone asks my organisation has bought him a couple of lots of shopping - but we're a tiny health charity and this isn't something we can afford to keep doing

Hi Betty,

The Raleigh Road site sounds more conducive/shorter walk from a bus stop. But it is not outside.

I will say, that people collecting have to think about how they will carry the food home. It can be quite a lot of bags. 

Can you make sure they have a voucher before they attend, the Trussell Trust/Foodbank do not issue food without a voucher proving assessment. 

Once he has the voucher, anyone can collect on his behalf if that assists?

Your client needs to get a voucher before approaching a food bank, although once he has a voucher he can send someone else to collect the things if they explain. Vouchers are issued by the CAB, job centres, the Irish Centre and a few other places (contact the food bank for a list via https://haringey.foodbank.org.uk/get-help/foodbank-vouchers/

The food is really heavy since a lot of it is in tins- best to bring a shopping trolley or a wheelie suitcase.

Thank you, will pass this on

If you want to donate items but can't get to any of the centres during their opening hours, remember there's a really handy collection bin in Turnpike Lane tube station (to the left of the ticket barriers next to where the old ticket windows were).

There's also one inside the Crouch End Co-op, between the tills and the front windows (and there used to be one in Waitrose but I haven't been in for a while so can't confirm it's still there).

If you're not struggling, please be as generous as you can to those who are.

Thank you Fiona. Yes the Waitrose one is still there and the Manager has been very helpful in letting us have groups of volunteers have a collection stand.

South Tottenham Tescos also has one.

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