Big-hearted hairdressing and barbering students from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London have given their support to help hungry families in Tottenham.

They donated boxes and bags packed with food including tins of beans and soup, packets of pasta and rice as well as crisps, biscuits and chocolate to Tottenham Foodbank. The foodbank, based at Tottenham Town Hall next to the college’s Tottenham Centre, has seen demand for its service triple since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Hairdressing student Shanicka Dixon, 33, from Tottenham, said: “When I go home, I always see the long queue outside the foodbank. A lot more people are struggling and having to use them with the COVID crisis that is going on, and we wanted to help them. Even if we help just a few families, that is something.”

Another student Shvan Jihad, 29, from Enfield, said: “Many, many people are not working and may need food. It’s nice to be able to give something back. When you do something good in your life, you feel better.”

Student Dennis Dobosan, 17, from Stamford Hill, added: “It feels good to help, and it’s nice to give back to people in need.”

Tottenham Foodbank opened in November 2019. Many of those using the service are elderly, disabled or have become unemployed due to the huge economic impact of the pandemic.

The foodbank was set up the Freedom’s Ark Church, also based at the town hall, and The Trussell Trust, a charity that supports more than 1,200 foodbanks nationwide.

Church Administrator Aleisha Armah said: “It’s been a very difficult year for everybody and families have been hit the hardest, but many organisations are rising up to meet the challenge.

“It’s not easy hearing from people in distress saying they haven’t eaten for a week. We take so much for granted. When you think of people being hungry you often think of people outside this country, but there are so many people here in poverty, particularly in London.

“People have been so generous when it comes to donations, and with their time when it comes to manpower and effort, and I want to say a big thank you to the college students and staff for their support. Donations are always welcome, we’ll always find space for them and they always going to go to people who really appreciate it.”

The students decided to make donation as part of a unit of their Hairdressing and Barbering – Level 1 Certificate course relating to community action.

Sandra Burgher, Course Team Leader in Beauty Therapy, said: “The students were very keen to help the foodbank and support families in their local community. They were delighted with the support from students and staff at the college and thank them for their kindness and generosity.”

Find out how to make a donation to the Tottenham Foodbank. If you don’t live in Tottenham, but want to help your local foodbank, find out where your nearest foodbank is, here.