A newly opened food stop offering help to the most needy in the community is continuing to open its doors every week to members.

The borough’s third Food Stop was only officially launched at Parchmore Methodist Church in Thornton Heath in February .

It aims to help people at risk of homelessness or have rent arrears to get cut-price food, one-to-one debt advice along with wider support.

The partnership between Croydon Council teams and local voluntary, community and faith sector organisation and community groups aims to help struggling residents to save up to £700 a year off household bills.s  

The Food Stop is open at the church’s community centre in Parchmore Road every Wednesday from 10am-12pm, where each member can get around £15 to £20 worth of fresh food and other groceries for £3.50 a week.

The award-winning initiative is aimed at local people affected by welfare reforms, Food Stop membership can also include referrals such as for mental and physical health needs and domestic abuse support, plus employment advice through the council’s job brokerage service Croydon Works and other partners.

At a launch, the Reverend Nadine Wilkinson hosted 50 guests and was joined by Councillor Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Homes and Gateway services, along with senior Methodist minister and member of the House of Lords the Reverend Dr Leslie Griffiths, Lord Griffiths of Burry Port.

Reverend Nadine said: “Thornton Heath is a community which is uniquely presented both with challenges and a wealth of goodwill, committed neighbours and the gifts and skills to address these challenges. 

We’re really pleased to be playing a role in connecting people and organisations so that our community might begin to recognise its own potential resourcefulness.”

The food stop is appealing for donations of dry goods and tins or packets of food along with any spare plastic bags to hold shopping .

It is open to take donations on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon.

A member Parchmore staff is maintaining contact with the 65 plus group  who use its services including the lunch club for a chat and to assess any needs that emerge.

•The new Food Stop is Croydon’s third to be formally launched by the council’s Gateway service since a pilot project began at The Family Centre in Fieldway in 2017. In its first year alone, it saved £52,000 in residents’ combined shopping bills, prevented 54 rented households from becoming homeless and helped over 40 people into work or training. 

A second opened in Selsdon last October.

To find out more about the service email: anita.konczack@croydon.gov.uk. 

•If you are homeless contact the Council’s Gateway service: gcc@croydon.gov.uk with a contact number or phone 07732 073171 or 07548264 401

•For Welfare Rights Advice 0800 7315920 or email: welfare.rights@croydon .gov.uk. 

New ‘welfare hubs’,  have been set up to deliver supplies and make contact with those on the government’s NHS ‘shielded’ list.

Croydon Council has begun delivering food parcels to hundreds of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

Council staff and local volunteers will deliver regular non-chilled food parcels to those who have no-one to shop for them and must stay at home for 12 weeks because of severe medical conditions including heart problems, cancer and lung disease.

Any resident identified as being in this priority group needs to call the council, quoting a reference number on their NHS letter :0208 604 7787 and or email covid19support@croydon.gov.uk.