Croydon’s fourth Food Stop has opened in Purley, offering significant discounts on food bills for local families in need as part of the borough-wide welfare response to covid-19.
Families can save up to £700 a year off household bills at a Food Stop, as it provides cut-price groceries and wider support.
Based at Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, the Food Stop will provide around £15- to £20-worth of fresh food and other groceries for £3.50 a week, as well as debt advice, job support and skills training.
Croydon voluntary groups needing to collect food for distribution to their own customers can also sign up with this Food Stop and three other local collection points across the borough.
In the Purley Food Stop’s first week, nearly half a ton of food delivered by charity Fareshare was distributed by church staff and volunteers to around 30 homes. The Food Stop is now also open from 10am-12pm on Fridays (in 15-minute slots to maintain social distancing restrictions), while self-isolating residents in need continue to receive home deliveries of food parcels.
Pastor Nick Graves, of Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church, said: “We got about 35 volunteers in 24 hours, which is a luxury to have. People are feeling powerless, so the idea of being able to do something practical to help is very appealing.
“We’re already getting reports back of people being blown away by it – they’re saying things like ‘You don’t know how much this has made me smile at a time when there isn’t much to smile about.’
“It’s wonderful. The council has been absolutely marvellous in helping us get this off the ground.”
The Food Stop partnership between the council’s Gateway service and local voluntary, community and faith sector organisations began at The Family Centre in New Addington in 2017. A second opened at St Francis’s Church in Selsdon last autumn and in February a third started at Parchmore Methodist Church in Thornton Heath.
Voluntary groups wanting to use this Food Stop as a local collection point can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Residents needing urgent food or welfare advice can call the council on 020 8604 7787 weekdays from 9am-4pm, or email: email@example.com.
To contact the Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church about its Food Stop, email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8668 6260.
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