Demand for Hackney Food Bank jumped by 44 per cent in the year up to March 2019.
Photograph: courtesy Local Buyers Club

Two companies in Stoke Newington are asking trick-or-treaters to scare and care this Halloween by collecting provisions for Hackney Food Bank along with their sweets.

‘Trick or Eat’ is a scheme being run jointly by Local Buyers Club and Location Location estate agents on Church Street, where people will be able to drop off food donations by 9pm on 31 October.

Both firms are long-time supporters of Hackney Food Bank, and this year, they are inviting residents to ask neighbours for food donations instead of only trick-or-treating for sweets.

Local Buyers Club co-founder Jenna Fansa said: “Halloween is such a lovely, fun night in Stoke Newington – like most children, ours love the thrill of dressing up and tearing around the neighbourhood and while they enjoy a couple of sweets on the way round, the volume of treats they get is crazy.

“So, this year, we’re asking local families to bring buggies, bags or even wheelbarrows when they trick-or-treat and to instead collect food for people in our community who are experiencing poverty.

“The kids are sure to get some sweets along the way too!”

Vicky Bibiris of Location Location added: “This idea was inspired by two little boys in Gloucestershire who ran a similar scheme three years ago.

“We wanted to follow their example and try to encourage a community to join us!”

Trick-or-treaters can drop their donations at Location Location on Stoke Newington Church Street any time before 9pm on October 31 or during office hours in the following days and the Local Buyers Club will pass them on to the Food Bank.

Demand for Hackney Food Bank rose by over 40 per cent in the year up to March 2019, due in part to spiralling rents, low wages, zero-hours contracts and the roll-out of Universal Credit.

Melanie Rochford, business and development director at Hackney Food Bank, said: “Having two boys who love to go crazy on the sugar rush that we have now come to expect on Halloween, I would dearly love to reduce that sugar craziness that makes us parents cringe. 

“What better way of doing it than to use the occasion to do something more wholesome and meaningful, in a way that children can relate to?”

Items typically in short supply at the Food Bank include tins of meat, fish and vegetables, dried pasta, curry and pasta sauces, long-life juice and milk, and toiletries.

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