What has been happening at Pecan
The Pandemic has meant a very busy time for Pecan. Southwark Women’s Hub have been providing wellbeing and practical support to women accessing the service. They have moved to phone calls and zoom meetings as well as a very limited number of face to face meetings. The team have written, produced and delivered over 20 wellbeing packs including booklets and goody packs. The Hourbank team are not far behind them in terms of packs and have in recent months been hosting book clubs and virtual visits to art galleries with the curators.
Pecan’s employment teams have continued to help people to prepare for returning to employment. This has been very difficult during lockdown, although the team are ready for new people to join whatever the background, we now have two new projects just starting who are focused on supporting family members to find employment and people who have a criminal record. Please do get in touch to find more 020 7732 0007 www.pecan.org.uk
First we need to say thank you to the churches and community around the borough. The support you have provided in terms of volunteers, food and finance have enabled the team to support a rise of over 10,000 falling into financial crisis and needing to be referred to Southwark Foodbank. Without this support we will not have been able to provide essential food and supplies to everyone. We have also worked with other churches and food providers in the borough to help find ways of people being held during pandemic that has been such a crisis for people on the lowest of incomes.https://www.pecan.org.uk/southwark-foodbank
In October 2020, Pecan opened Peckham Pantry in Peckham Park Road 6 days a week. This is an extension of the work we are doing on Wednesdays in St Lukes, Peckham. The pantry is open to everyone in the community. All you need to do is turn up, register, pay £4.50 every time you visit and in return you will choose 10 items of food and supplies that will have a value of at least £15. Confused and want to find out more – come along and find out. https://www.pecan.org.uk/peckham-pantry
Call it food insecurity not food poverty
At Pecan we are no longer recognising the phrased food poverty in London. There is no such thing! We have been so blessed with the amount of food that has been donated from companies, shops, churches and individuals. There is so much food in London that the reality is that foodbanks and food projects can’t handle it all. There is no food poverty. What there is, is far too many people living in our great city without the money to buy food, having to make choices each day about which bills to pay and what they can do without. This is not a poverty of food, it is a poverty of economics. The security to buy food doesn’t exist, not the food itself. Let us name the problem not the crisis intervention.
If we talk about food poverty, we will look to provide food as a solution. People will still be hungry. Let us change the conversation and talk about the root of the problem; not having enough money to buy food. Not having the security of knowing where the next meal will come from. This as churches and faith groups is what we should be highlighting. We should be asking why people are not able to get enough money from employers and benefits to survive well in our great city. Yes, let us feed people whilst there is a crisis, but let us work to end the crisis. In the words of Desmond Tutu – let us go up stream and see why people are falling into trouble. If you want to find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org