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By Tom Shakhli | Published: November 19, 2013
The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is one of the largest in London. Between the two centres, they feed 200 people per week. They are meeting a demand which may only continue to rise given their estimate that almost 60,000 people in Lambeth are living on the edge of poverty.
Through partnerships with local supermarkets and food outlets, they receive items which are then made up into packages that can last recipients up to three days. That such a situation exists on this scale while other parts of Brixton thrive suggests a flaw in the current economic model.
One feature of a local currency is that it can seek to address these economic flaws, by working in ways that sterling cannot. That’s why last year we teamed up with Nesta to see how we could use the B£ and pay-by-text as a platform for giving. To test this, we piloted ‘Payroll Local’ with Lambeth Council whereby staff could opt in to have their salary part-paid in B£, a proportion of which could then be sent directly to local charities.
Last month we saw the fruit of this scheme start to appear, when the Brixton branch of the Foodbank used the B£ balance it had accumulated to purchase essential items from Faiz grocery store in Brixton Village. Jon Taylor from the Foodbank told us:
“Our B£ order from Faiz allowed us to address an immediate shortfall in tinned tomatoes, tinned meats, fruit juice, vegetables and pulses. This went directly into packages that were made up in the following days. We were very grateful to negotiate a bulk deal with Faiz. It’s not straightforward for us to accept normal cash donations so the B£ makes an ideal giving platform”.
Would you like to donate B£ to the Brixton Foodbank? You can do so directly using your pay-by-text account and the username ‘foodbank’. If you’re not using pay-by-text already then you can sign up for free here.
Are you a Lambeth Council employee and would like to sign up for Payroll Local? You can do so here.
If you are a local charity and would like to set up a B£ account, just drop a quick line to email@example.com and we can take it from there.
By Juliane Zeller | Published: November 11, 2013
The B£ supports local independent businesses. We believe that they benefit communities because more often than not they are part of them too.
The ideal gift can be found in one of Brixton’s many independent retailers that are listed here. Why not go in, talk to the staff about what you’re looking for, and then share that story when you present the gift? It’s a sure-fire way to impress!
We have also created a directory for venues that are able to cater to groups looking to get together for a Christmas meal. Most of the places in our directory are signed up for B£ pay-by-text. That means if you sign up or add credit to your account now, you will benefit from a 10% bonus. Consider it a gift from the Brixton Pound – or maybe an excuse to buy another present or order another drink!