Hackney Foodbank are the 100th business in the borough to become an accredited Living Wage Employer, paying all their employees a minimum of £10.55 an hour in line with the London Living Wage.
The Hoxton based charity, who have provided the ingredients for more than 100,000 meals to local people in financial crisis, witnesses the effects of in work poverty on a daily basis and therefore understands the importance of paying a fair living wage.
To celebrate reaching the milestone of 100 Living Wage accredited employers in the borough, Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, Cllr Carole Williams, along with representatives from the Living Wage Foundation and Citizens UK visited Hackney Foodbank to present the certificate.
Cllr Carole Williams said: “Hackney Foodbank are an incredible organisation and they are a lifeline for many families in the borough who are struggling. I want to thank them on behalf of the Council for supporting the residents of Hackney and to celebrate their achievement of becoming a Living Wage Employer”.
Hackney Foodbank work with over 200 local partners and are supported by countless more community organisations through food donations and other means of support, however demand is so high that they are still in need of donations, especially toiletries.
Melanie Rochford, Director of Business and Development at Hackney Foodbank, said: “As a voluntary organisation we rely on the donations and dedication from our local community to keep us going. We are incredibly passionate about social equality and giving everyone a chance to succeed and move towards a more independent and sustainable existence. Being able to earn a living wage is key to this. I would encourage more local businesses to sign up to the Living Wage.
“If it isn’t something you can do immediately then you can always start to put a plan in place to work towards it. If a small local charity like Hackney Foodbank can do it then so can most businesses.”
The campaign for a London Living Wage began in East London, where cleaners working in the City were often having to work multiple jobs and long hours just to keep their heads above water. With support from community organisers from Citizens UK, workers began a Living Wage campaign, calling on organisations in East London to commit to pay all their workers, including outsourced and contract workers, a Living Wage.
In 2011 the Living Wage Foundation was established to campaign for a Living Wage throughout the UK, and since then the campaign has won over £850 million of additional wages and lifted over 190,000 people out of working poverty. In Hackney the number of Living Wage employers has more than doubled since 2017, with over 60 new Living Wage employers signed up since then.
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation, said:
“It’s great to see the 100th Living Wage Employer announced in Hackney, and Hackney Foodbank does important work. The campaign for a Living Wage started in London and it is positive to see it continue to grow in Hackney and other boroughs. There are now over 5,000 accredited Living Wage employers throughout the UK, and we hope to see many more commit to provide a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”