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Purley Food Hub




More than 30,000 people in crisis have now received emergency food from Purley Food Hub since we opened nearly 10 years ago, with well over a quarter of a million meals provided.


Run by volunteers from Purley & Kenley Churches Together (including St James) and the local community, we provide three-day emergency food parcels to people struggling through hard times who are referred to us by agencies in the Borough of Croydon.


A time of crisis can happen to anyone, usually out of the blue and through no fault of their own. To date (October), 3,800 clients have received food a total of 12,800 times for 30,800 family members.


At three meals a day for three days for each person, that’s 275,000 meals provided so far. Enough to fill Wembley Stadium three times over…


We are based at Purley United Reformed Church, next to Purley Hospital, where until Covid we met clients face to face.


But since the early days of the pandemic lockdown in spring 2020 we have operated as a home delivery service, packing the food parcels on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and delivering them direct to clients’ homes in Purley, South Croydon, Coulsdon and Waddon.


Clients are referred by agencies including job centres, Croydon Council, GP surgeries and mental health services. One agency said: “I want you to know how much we appreciate the service you are providing our clients in these challenging times. It is a relief you exist.”


The mother of two boys aged 16 and 10 expressed her gratitude: “Thankyou so so much for such a huge parcel of help! My cupboards are stocked again when they were empty and the constant panic, about feeding my two bottomless pits of sons, has lessened a little! I cried when I saw it all! I just want you to know how appreciated you all are. We are very thankfull. Much love xxx” 


As an emergency food bank, we work closely with the two local Food Stops, based at Old Lodge Lane Baptist, Purley, and St Francis Church in Monks Hill, Selsdon. There, clients can “shop” for around £20 worth of fresh, frozen and chilled food for £3.50 a week.


The Food Hub and Food Stops are already seeing increases in demand this autumn as a result of the cost of living crisis and rising food and energy prices, with hard clients being referred back to us for food after their situations had apparently improved with help from our team of Client Support Volunteers.


Food is donated by St James and the other local churches as well as schools, supermarkets and businesses, uniformed organisations and many families and individuals. We are grateful for each and every donation, however big or small; each tin, packet or jar goes to someone in need.


Louise Willmer, Acting Chair of the Management Committee, says: “We look forward to the day in the future when the Food Hub is no longer needed. Until then, however, together we will continue to provide food to local people going through tough times for as long as we are needed.”


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