Five-year funding boost helps Richmond foodbank support thousands

Thousands of Richmond upon Thames residents will benefit from new funding for a charity tackling food poverty in the borough.

Vineyard Community has seen demand for its foodbank soar by 65% in three years and provides emergency food supplies to 500 residents every month.         

The charity, founded a decade ago in the basement of the church from which it takes its name, has been awarded a £263,000 grant over five years from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder.

City Bridge Trust Chairman Giles Shilson said:

“It’s a sad fact of modern life that people who are really struggling to make ends meet, for one reason or another, increasingly rely upon food banks in order to put food on the table.

“This funding will support Vineyard Community to build upon the success of the past decade and will secure the future of this vital service for the next five years.”

Like much of the country, Richmond Foodbank has seen sharply rising rates of food poverty, helping 5,959 people in 2022, compared to 2,353 in 2019, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

The foodbank service works out of six locations across Richmond, operating on a voucher system run in conjunction with foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

The City Bridge Trust funding will also support drop-in food bank sessions, home delivery to particularly vulnerable people and advice and support sessions to help people tackle the causes of food poverty.

David Logan, CEO of Vineyard Community and Richmond Foodbank, said:

“A big part of our work is to try and help people improve their circumstances, move out of crisis and experience a sense of hope, but it’s very hard for people to do that if they're struggling to feed themselves.

“Living in food poverty impacts on people’s mental health, their self-esteem and relationships, and how they see themselves. There is often a feeling of shame which causes people to withdraw and become isolated.

“People often arrive at our door feeling quite nervous, but just coming here, having a cup of tea or something to eat, receiving a warm welcome and enjoying some personal interaction can have a lasting, powerful effect.”

More information about Vineyard Community and Richmond Foodbank is at www.vineyardcommunity.org and https://richmond.foodbank.org.uk/

The City of London Corporation’s charity funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver. It awards grants of over £30 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

It has also made an extra £200 million available over five years from 2021 to 2026 to support London’s charity sector – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk

Case study

Maria is a 58-year-old grandmother came to Richmond just before Christmas in search of safety, stability, and work after fleeing the war in Ukraine.

She found a job quite quickly as a part-time cleaner but is trying to find more. She visited the Twickenham Job Centre, who issued her voucher to receive emergency food from Richmond Foodbank as she is experiencing food poverty, being unable to cover her costs of living.

Ilona is her 18-year-old granddaughter. She learnt English through a tutor in Ukraine and translates for her grandmother at the foodbank. They also attend sessions where staff provide a hot and healthy meal for everyone who visits and spend time chatting through how they can further support them to move beyond crisis.

The main elements of support provided to help people to improve their opportunities for sustainable, stable living have been English classes, support work, and advice                                          

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK –  www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

The City Corporation is the sole trustee of Bridge Houses Estates, a charity founded over 900 years ago to maintain London Bridge, and Members of its Court of Common Council form the Bridge House Estates Board.

Bridge House Estates is today responsible for maintaining Tower, London, Southwark, Millennium and Blackfriars Bridges. Its grants team, City Bridge Trust – founded in 1995 – awards over £30 million a year to good causes across the capital.

It has also made an extra £200 million available over five years from 2021 to 2026 to support London’s charity sector – www.citybridgetrust.org.uk


Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk