Tower Hamlets Food Bank Project

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The Tower Hamlets Food Bank receives donations from church congregations, schools, and individual corporations and also through supermarket collections. THFB then identifies people in crisis through the aid of professionals such as social works and School Home liaison personnel. These groups refer people to the THFB where they are warmly welcomed with non-judgmental environment. The clients are given a minimum donation of food that is to serve them for three days and then the client is directed for further help and support. The Tower Hamlets carries out this activity on a weekly basis by the help of its many volunteers.

I got to learn more through interactions with Amy Kimbungi after the UEL lecture on Food and Social Justice about how the organisation is involved in the distribution of food to local residents in LBTH. The organisation collects food donations from various parts of the community. The supermarket donations are received in largest quantities since they continue throughout the year the donations accepted include all long life food items since fresh items can be stored in the food banks. However, donations of tinned meats and canned fruits and vegetables are particularly allowed. The sorting process of donations received from all regions of the community then begins. The sorting process is the work of the team of volunteers. The sorted items are then taken to the food banks which are usually warehouses as they get prepares to distribute them in the network of many food bank centres across the community.

The final process of issuing the foods then involves referring clients to the food bank centres with vouchers where they can then receive a donation of the emergency food that is enough to support them for a minimum of three days. In addition, volunteers offer advice to people on how they can help resolve their food crisis. There are alternative ways to end the food crisis that looked upon and assist in reducing the number of people affected by this crisis.

Recently, architecture firm Gensler approached the charity, First Love Foundation, coordinators of the THFB wanted to redesign an existing space where people normally participate in the foodbank activity. The concept consist of creating a communal space where food and participants explore a spatial context that creates a comfortable atmosphere. This experience helped me to understand the best ways to identify and sort out food related crisis that can easily generate a social cohesion in my architectural proposal.

Photography: Gensler

More info: http://www.towerhamletsfoodbank.org.uk/whatwedo.html + http://www.gensleron.com/cities/2015/3/31/tower-hamlets-foodbanks-new-lease-of-life.html

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