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Islington’s Elizabeth House Community Centre

“From talking to our residents, we know people are stressed.”

Roshni Shah on the cost-of-living crisis

Roshni Shah, Community Coordinator, Elizabeth House Community Centre.

“Our food hub, since we’ve begun, we’ve supported over 700 people in the local area. We currently support around 60 households, and that’s around about 120-130 people every week.

Food that is donated to us, it doesn’t just go to our food hub, we also use it in our other activities within the centre. So, we provide snacks for our women’s group, we provide a hot, cooked lunch for our older people’s group on a Wednesday, and we also use it for snacks for our after-school club, during the holiday play scheme. We’re supporting a wide range of our community week on week. Mostly what they love is they get access to fresh fruit and vegetables. It allows families, and everyone, in fact, to have kind of healthy and nutritious food.

Costs are going up, it’s sometimes harder to come by so they use this. We sometimes get vegetables or fruit that they’ve never seen before, they don’t know how to use. We provide recipes for that, so it also kind of expands their culinary horizons. It gives them an opportunity to try things that they maybe couldn’t afford to take a risk on otherwise. That’s the feedback that we’ve got from our residents. It’s where the community can come together. It’s been lovely for us to watch these relationships grow and develop, not just between us and the residents, but between themselves and the volunteers as well.

We are concerned about the Autumn. As the heating goes back on, we all know what’s happening with energy prices. From talking to our residents, we know that people are stressed. Bills are rising all round. They’re worried about what’s coming in the Autumn, and so are we. We’re already struggling to get enough food and resources to serve everyone, and I think that’s kind of the stress that’s across the board.”

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