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Coronavirus: Jeremy Corbyn urges people to donate what they can as Islington Food Bank forced to close

PUBLISHED: 16:07 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 25 March 2020

PA Review of the General Election 2019 09/12/19 Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn waves to supporters after speaking at a rally outside Bristol City Council in Bristol. Picture: Jo Giddens/ PA

PA Review of the General Election 2019 09/12/19 Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn waves to supporters after speaking at a rally outside Bristol City Council in Bristol. Picture: Jo Giddens/ PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn has urged people to give what they can to food banks in Islington during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

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

The outgoing Labour leader spoke out after Islington Food Bank in Ronald’s Road was forced to temporarily close on Monday due to a shortage of food and volunteers, and the need to social distance to avoid spreading coronavirus.

As previously reported by the Gazette, the number of people using Islington Food Bank rose from 383 to 5,688 users in the seven years to January, 2019.

The Islington North MP, who participated his last PMQs on Wednesday, told the Gazette:

“I thank the volunteers locally who have done so much to help people and ask all members of the Labour Party to do all they can in the community.

“I’m very worried about the supply of the food banks so urge all of us who can to give they can to the food bank. [...]

“Ten years of austerity – we are now learning the price for it, and I hope that when this crisis is over we will realise we can no longer go on putting services at risk.”

The Hive Food Bank in St Mary’s Hornsey Rise Church in Ashley Road is still open, you can donate here.

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Islington Food Bank still has collection points in supermarkets, but won’t utilise these goods until it re-opens.

Union Chapel in Upper Street has cancelled all events for the next month and is “looking to take over hosting duties” for Islington Food Bank.

We await further information on this.

The government published its English Indices of Multiple Deprivation in October, which estimate 33.6 per cent of older people and 27.5pc of children in Islington are living in impoverished neighbourhoods.

Islington ranks joint fourth with Manchester for the scale of hardship affecting people aged 60 and over, while it ranks 10th in England for deprivation among children.

At the time we published these figures Mr Corbyn told us: “The scale of poverty and deprivation in Islington and across our country shames this Tory government. This is a national emergency which cannot be ignored.

“Poverty and inequality is not inevitable. In the fifth richest country in the world no one should be forced to rely on a food bank to feed their family, no one should sleep rough on our streets and no one should go to work for poverty wages.”

In his final PMQs, Mr Corbyn said: “I believe in a decent, socially just society. My voice will not be stilled, I’ll still be around campaigning, I’ll still be arguing, and I’ll still be demanding justice for the people of this country.”

We have complied a list of agencies helping people during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which we’ll be updating regularly.

Join our Facebook group for the latest coronavirus discussion from across north London.


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