In the biggest single local cash donation to help battle the coronavirus outbreak, £60,000 has been given to the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank to expand its distribution operation at Olympia London.
The gift is from the managers of the UK’s largest regeneration project – the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) – currently working in the north of the borough.
“This is overwhelming generosity,” said Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, thanking the OPDC on behalf of borough residents. “It will make a huge difference to our efforts to feed and support those most in need.”
OPDC Chief Executive David Lunts explained that corporation staff had been touched by the initiative to help the Foodbank set up the giant food distribution service at Olympia London.
Describing it as a ‘fantastic initiative to help provide food to vulnerable people at this very difficult time’, he said: “The council’s response to coronavirus, and the dedication and bravery of all the keyworkers in the borough, has been exceptional. OPDC will continue to support those most in need by collaborating with our local boroughs, volunteer organisations and the GLA.”
H&F Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, is one of three council leaders who sit on the board of the OPDC, the London Mayor’s development company for Old Oak and Park Royal.
OPDC staff have also been working with the London Funders team to assess applications from voluntary organisations in west London as part of the COVID-19 London Community Fund. Applications are still open for volunteer, charity and community organisations to apply for up to £10,000 to keep vital volunteer services running.
The corporation is also running a community and business support hub, offering helpline support to businesses.
H&F Council recently partnered with Olympia London and the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank to expand food support for local residents in need during the coronavirus crisis, allowing the council’s H&F CAN volunteers to join forces with the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank to increase the number of food parcels sent out by at least 400 per cent.
Olympia offered their Olympia National building – the sister hall of the iconic Olympia Grand – free of charge to the council and the foodbank.
Food deliveries are being organised by private vehicles with DBS-registered volunteers, taxi cabs, H&F Council staff and people donating their time.
Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank founder Daphine Aikens praised the response to helping battle food poverty. “We’ve set up a production line here to increase the help we can offer,” she said.
Before, the foodbank aimed to deliver 160 food parcels a week to the most vulnerable. Now the target is 1,000 a week.
“By using the Olympia National building, we’ve been able to upscale and move to a full delivery service to help anyone without the money for food.
“It’s a massive increase in what we can achieve. We’re able to do it because we have our own committed and trained volunteers, together with H&F Council staff and CAN volunteers.”
H&F CAN is the volunteer community aid network – launched by the council – to support vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Working with the voluntary and charity sector, and alongside the ward and street-level mutual aid groups, H&F CAN now has a 1,600-strong taskforce of volunteers to help those most in need.
If you need urgent support with food, loneliness or isolation, or you are you worried about a friend, neighbour or relative, get in touch.
Freephone: 0800 145 6095
9am-7pm Monday to Friday and 9am-2pm on weekends
Apply for help from H&F CAN by completeing our online form
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