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Purley Food Hub




Dear All,

4,000 meals delivered in our busiest-ever September

Food for just over 4,000 meals was delivered to 455 Food Hub clients and family members in September. This was a little over 900 meals more than a year ago, making it the busiest September in our 10-year history.

Louise Willmer, our Stock Controller, has expressed huge thanks for all the generous donations received during the month: “These have been very much appreciated as we provided food for more than 25 clients and their families on several occasions in September.

“So, with our stock levels quite low, we are delighted to hear that many schools and churches are intending to support us by donating their Harvest collections.

“Thank you Purley United Reformed Church, who have collected both for us and for Croydon Nightwatch at their Harvest service, and Woldingham, who are the first school to give us their very generous Harvest donation.”


Cereal, meat meals, potatoes most needed in October

To replenish our shelves, the 10 priority items most needed in October are headed by 500g packets of cereal, tinned meat meals and packet & tinned potatoes.

Tins of tuna and jars of pasta sauce are also on the list, along with small bottles of squash, hot chocolate drink requiring only waterand tinned & packet custard. The most-wanted list is completed by two toiletry items: unisex deodorant and shampoo.

Donations can be delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9.00am to 12.00midday to Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital in Purley town centre. Or, if it’s more convenient, they can be dropped off at any of our local in-store and roadside collection points - see full list here.

As the result of everyone’s continued generous support, we have been able to provide more than 320,000 meals for 35,000 people for people in the 10 years since 2013. Thank you all!


‘You made a real difference in a challenging time’

We regularly receive emails and texts of gratitude from the ticket partner agencies who refer clients to the Food Hub for food parcels. One wrote recently:

 We want to say a huge thank you for all the food you have provided to our residents. Our residents and ourselves are very grateful. We just want to express our sincere gratitude for the wonderful work you do. 

And another said:

 Thank you so much for your support with this family. You’ve really made a difference in a challenging time. 


Donations are the icing on the birthday cake!

Tilly and Matteo, two pupils in Year 2 at Margaret Roper Catholic Primary School, Purley, came up with a brilliant idea for their joint sixth birthday party, as Headteacher Dermot Mooney explains:

 Instead of everyone bringing a gift, they asked each party guest to consider the needs of others and bring donations for the Food Hub. Everyone was happy to do so and a substantial number of donations was collected. 

It goes to show that even very young children are able to consider the needs of others and make a positive contribution to our community.

All of us at Margaret Roper are very proud of them for their great idea and especially their unselfishness and thought for others in need. They are an example to us all.  Maybe they will start a trend! 

Mr Mooney has also announced that the school will again be giving the items from their Harvest collection to the Food Hub.

Thank you very much Margaret Roper - and Tilly and Matteo!

Pictured: Matteo and Tilly brought the donations to the Food Hub when Noel Brownlow, a friend of the school and a Food Hub Trustee, was on hand with Stock Controller Louise Willmer to thank them for their kindness.


AGM taking place on Tuesday evening 10th October

The Food Hub’s 2023 Annual General Meeting is being held on Tuesday 10th October at 7.00pm at Purley United Reformed Church…and all volunteers, friends and supporters are warmly invited.

Trevor Jones, Chair of Trustees, and Louise Willmer, Joint Management Committee Chair, will update everyone on the latest developments and future plans.

A third person has been added to the line-up of guest speakers: Patti Boyle will talk about the work of her Big Love Foundation charity, especially her work with Purley Food Stop. Patti joins two other speakers, Jo Doherty, Manager of Croydon Refugee Day Centre, and Sue Balmer, Co-Development Director of Happy Baby Community.

We look forward to seeing you - refreshments will be available from 6.30pm.


Annual Report looks backwards and forwards

With huge thanks to Tom Boyle for his design expertise, the Food Hub’s 2022/2023 Annual Report is published today (3rd October) with this month’s News Update.

In his Trustees Chair’s report, Trevor Jonessays that when the Food Hub started back in January 2013, no one thought it would still be needed 10 years on, continuing:

 While we give thanks for all that God has provided since then, 10 years of a food bank is really not something to celebrate…

We long for the day when the Food Hub is no longer needed and we can close, the day when people have enough money to buy enough to eat. Sadly, I can’t see this happening any day soon, although it very much remains our prayer. In the meantime, I repeat my closing sentence from last year:

We will be here for local people in food crisis for as long as we are needed. 

Both Trevor and Louise Willmer, in her Management Committee Joint Chair’s report, warmly thank all of the Food Hub’s fantastic volunteers for their dedication to duty, and the many supporters for their generous donations of food and money, some on a regular, weekly basis: “Even in the depths of winter they arrive with full carrier bags, boxes and trolleys.”

Louise, in her report, discusses the challenge posed by an increased number of clients relying on the Food Hub’s services to feed themselves and their families, and the way forward in organising the distribution of food.


Donations received during September

EACH AND EVERY donation of food and money is used for the benefit of Food Hub clients and their families and those of other local food providers, including Purley, St Francis and Fieldway food stops.

We use money donations to buy items such as tubs of baby formula milk, larger-size nappies and food and other essentials we don’t get sufficiently donated.

So, in September, we acknowledge money donations from, among others: Woodmansterne Baptist Church, Whitethorn Avenue Methodist Church, JennyWhite (a neighbour of our volunteers Marjorie and Howard Marsh) and South Croydon Allotment Society.

Jackie Jones, the Allotment Society’s Secretary, says: “We had our annual open day in August and our plot holders voted that the money raised would be given to Purley Food Hub: a total of £513. We hope the money will help local families and people in our community. Thank you for doing an outstanding job.”

Infohealth Pharmacy, Coulsdon
South Croydon Allotment Society
Zero Waste Shop, Caterham

Cumberlands, Kenley
East Coulsdon Residents’ Association, Mead Way
Elmfield Vets, Elmfield Way, Sanderstead
Heathhurst Road, Sanderstead
Kendall Avenue South, Sanderstead

All Saints, Sanderstead

Christ Church, Purley
Croham Road Baptist, South Croydon
Emmanuel, South Croydon
Grace Vineyard, Purley
Purley Baptist
Purley United Reformed
Sanderstead Methodist
St Gertrude’s, South Croydon
St James, Riddlesdown
St John’s, Old Coulsdon

St John the Baptist, Purley
St Margaret’s, Carshalton Beeches
St Mark’s, Woodcote
St Mary Magdalene with St Martin, Addiscombe
St Mary’s, Old Coulsdon
St Mary’s, Sanderstead
St Peter’s, South Croydon
St Swithun’s, Purley
Whitethorn Avenue Methodist, Coulsdon
Woodmansterne Baptist

Coombe Wood, South Croydon

Margaret Roper Catholic Primary, Purley

Morrisons, Caterham
Morrisons, Five Ways, Croydon
Sainsbury’s, Warlingham
Sainsbury’s Local, Purley
Waitrose, Sanderstead

And we gratefully acknowledge also the many donations received from individuals and families, too many to list here.


Stay in touch through our website and social media

We post regularly updated news about the Food Hub on our website and on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.



Helen Harris prayed this prayer at our Thanksgiving Service in June to mark the Food Hub’s 10 years of service:

 Father, you promised us right from the start that our food would never run out and we can’t thank you enough that it hasn’t, and when we have run low you have provided the money to buy what we need through the generosity of individuals, companies, churches and organisations.

Thank you that we have been able to share our food with other food banks and food stops in the area which was part of the original vision you gave us, and we ask you to bless their work. 

Once again with our most sincere thanks for your support and our very best wishes,

Steve Hunt

Steve Hunt - Admin Team
Purley Food Hub

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