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Islington Food Bank: New donation point at Town Hall to help tackle Universal Credit 'hardship'

PUBLISHED: 08:42 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 07:45 05 December 2018

Cllr Troy Gallagher and Kathy Weston from Islington Food Bank outside Islington Town Hall. Picture: Islington Council

Cllr Troy Gallagher and Kathy Weston from Islington Food Bank outside Islington Town Hall. Picture: Islington Council

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There's been a spike in food banks referrals following the rollout of Universal Credit in June - and people can now donate to Islington Food Bank throughout December via a new collection point at the town hall.

There’s been a spike in food banks referrals following the rollout of Universal Credit in June – and people can now donate to Islington Food Bank throughout December via a new collection point at the town hall.

Islington Council has partnered with the food bank in a bid to collect as many supplies as possible over the cold Christmas period.

People can now drop food off at the town hall between 8.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.

Cllr Troy Gallagher (Lab, Bunhill), who had the idea for the collection point, said: “Islington has a fantastic community spirit, and so many generous people. “We’re asking our local residents if they can help others in their community at an often difficult time of year.

“Whatever you can give, if you are able to help by donating what you can this will be hugely appreciated and will go a long way in supporting local people who are in need.”

And Islington Council has suggested the increased demand for food banks if fuelled, in part, by recent welfare changes.

Universal Credit, the online only system combining six working age benefits into one payment, started in Islington on June 20 – and by September there was 44 additional food bank referrals in the borough.

Kathy Weston from Islington Food Bank, said: “Islington Food Bank is grateful to Islington Council employees and members of the public for their help during the festive period.

“Their generosity will go directly towards helping people who find themselves in hardship in the local area.”

The food bank is in urgent need of tinned products, including tomatoes, long-life fruit, rice pudding, fish and meat. A full list of needed items can be found at: islington.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/.

The Town Hall collection runs until Monday 17 December and all items will be donated to Islington Food Bank.

Islington Food Bank accepts collections every Monday and Saturday throughout the year at Highbury Roundhouse Youth and Community Centre, between 2pm and 5pm.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Universal Credit [UC] simplifies an out-of-date, complex system with evidence showing that claimants are getting into work faster and staying in work longer.

“We are working closely with local authorities and have provided Islington Council with funding to help with the introduction of Universal Credit.”

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