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Helping its Islington community through the cost of living crisis

Ringcross Community Centre Food Bank feeds up to 200 people a day. The beating heart of the Islington estate pivoted to become a free food provider during COVID-19 for residents facing food poverty. Now, the cost-of-living crisis brings new challenges to the community, as rising utility bills leaves little money for food.  

The Ringcross’ food bank sees numbers of up to 200 people daily accessing free food.

“The cost-of-living crisis is causing our numbers to rise more quickly, bringing us clients who are terribly anxious, in a way I didn’t see in lockdown”

– Lindsey Wylie, Food bank coordinator

Those who benefit from free food range from young adults to pensioners of 95: anyone in need of support will find it at Ringcross. It’s twice-weekly market-style food bank provides dignity through choice, offering everything from fresh surplus produce and pantry items to second-hand clothing and crockery, and even its zero-waste refillable egg box and cooking oil stations. 

The Ringcross is much more than just a food bank. Not only can the team help families put meals on their tables, but has helped source housing for refugees, and secure free spaces for children in sports holiday camps, alleviating parent’s stress during school holidays. Whilst seasoned in crisis management, the team still find themselves having to problem-solve daily:  

“Throughout the pandemic we were encouraging people back into employment, retraining them, restructuring their skills to other industries. Now, they’re coming back again as they’re still not able to feed their families. It’s heart-breaking.”

– Savvas Panas, Community Centre Manager

The food bank offers a variety of choice of fresh and pantry items for people unable to afford essentials.

First and foremost a community hub, the team is on hand to help quell the anxiety of struggling residents and the newly food insecure, a steadily rising demographic.  

“The crisis is affecting everybody, whether you’re a single person, whether you’re an older person, you still have to switch on electricity, gas, and cook a meal.”

– Savvas Panas, Community Centre Manager

Learn more here about how our community of charities is navigating the Cost of Living crisis.