Supporting local people with food
Would you like to help neighbours experiencing difficulties during these very challenging times?
Our 'Gift Your Neighbour' volunteer group needs your help
We collect donations and buy quality food every Monday to deliver to local homes where people have asked for help.
We reach 150 people a week, many via schools, and all within half a mile of Queens Park.
The cost of living crisis is adding to our work load and stretching our volunteer resources.
We need to secure more food donations, find gift packers at NW Works (135 Salusbury Rd, where we have a premises very kindly donated by Akoya) and people who can deliver to homes, by bicycle or car.
Or, if time isn't possible, we welcome financially donations (we are switching our fundraising as of 30/11/23 having previously gratefully received an amazing £37,000 from kind donations in the past three and a half years via Salusbury World).
For example, £15 would sponsor a bag that would help feed a family for two days.
We are part of the Brent Food Aid Network working with groups such as Granville Community Kitchen, Willesden Mutual Aid, Laurences Larder in Brondesbury and the foodbanks Sufra NW and Brent Foodbank (Trussell Trust).
BFAN has produced a food aid directory to help those looking for help - and the most local options in the Queens Park area are below.
UPDATE = A HUGE thank you to Ark Franklin Primary School and their partner Winkworth Estate Agents- Kensal Rise & Queens Park for their new weekly collections from December 2023.
Ark parents can now again donate at school on Mondays (as can Malorees and Salusbury School parents). Winkworths on Chamberlayne Rd (opposite Kensal Rise station) will accept donations from the public at any time.
GIFT YOUR NEIGHBOUR
Monday - food delivered to families & households who ask for help
Volunteers deliver donated food, topped up with fruit and veg, to allow households within half a mile of Queens Park to cook/eat a healthy meal.
GRANVILLE COMMUNITY KITCHEN
Weds & Friday - community kitchen & food aid only to those seeking asylum and/or have No Access to Public Funds, and to those who are housebound due to chronic illness on a referral basis only.
GCK is a community-led food project which empowers our community through food. Based in Carlton Vale serving across several Brent wards.
The team offers a Good Food Box scheme to help encourage food sustainability and affordable access to organically grown & culturally appropriate foods. www.granvillecommunitykitchen.org.uk
Thurs - community hot meal Thurs 12-2pm (no booking necessary); food parcels for collection 12.30-2pm Weds
The Larder has long provided a warm welcome, including hot food and showers/clothes. More info at www.laurenceslarder.org.uk
What should I donate?
TYPICAL DESIRABLE FOOD ITEMS FOR A FOODBANK
Tuna/other canned fish
Or....a golden rule: donate anything you like eating yourself!
This is a neighbour gift.
GREAT items are fruit, veg, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, tuna, eggs but everything will get used by someone very grateful!
Toiletries and even carrier bags are 'hot' items. Sufra's recommendations here are a good summary that apply to all of us.
Where/when to drop off items? We think it's confusing for people to keep up with different days/times for different projects. And hassle to park etc?
So, to take the hassle away: let us come to you? Request a food donation pick-up via firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where you'd like the bag to go.
If you don't mind where the items go, we'll work out which project most needs what on a given day.
FOODBANKS IN OUR AREA
There are two main foodbanks serving our area who we work with.
They differ from Gift Your Neighbour, GCK and Laurence's Larder in that there is a referral process to identify who may be in most need of emergency food.
We are happy to pass on food donations to the foodbanks.
We help address both the causes and consequences of extreme poverty, homelessness & social isolation across Brent. With your support, we can ensure no-one in our community goes hungry.
All the above food initiatives collaborate as part of the Brent Food Aid Network, a network of agencies, charities and other community organisations working together to ensure that people in urgent food need are supplied and cared for.
Other local options
A number of great food initiatives are available at the 'local' level rather than across wards. For example:
Ashford Place in Cricklewood is open to its homeless guests., providing food as well as shelter.
Harlesden Fresh Foodbank on the High St hosted by Fresh Horizons CB in Harlesden are open on Friday. www.harlesdenmutualaid.co.uk details other food options and support in Harlesden, including the great work by its mutual aid team.
Kilburn Street Kitchen provide dinner, hot drinks and friendly chat to anyone who comes to see them on Kilburn High Rd (near Wenzels), 19:15-20.30 every week. These are a small group of local volunteers supported by the StreetsKitchen network, a larger group supplying meals across London.
Sacred Heart Church Parish House (at back of the church) Quex Rd, Kilburn, NW6 4PS Open: Everyday, 10 -4pm No tokens or referrals necessary
The aim of the Sidings Food Hub is to support at least 70 families in the NW6/NW2 area of Camden each Saturday, either collected from Sidings Community Centre or delivered by volunteers to those unable to leave their homes.
ALSO HELPING US LOCALLY - AND ACROSS LONDON
Brilliant organisations that help supply all the above include The Felix Project, and City Harvest and Fareshare (the UK's national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations) who rescue food from the food industry and deliver across London to charities and schools.
Part of the Felix team is in Park Royal. To volunteer or donate please click here.
To follow on social media: @felixprojectuk