The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker (292-294 St John’s Street) collected over a ton of food. Sam Pryor (pictured above), General Manager and Cook, explains the pub’s very generous scheme to collect donations:
“I’d volunteered at Hackney Migrant’s Centre for several years and noticed that foodbank referrals were absolutely vital to the families coming for help, and in the back of my mind I knew there were still people urgently needing help. So last December, a really busy period for the pub, and in January when we became vegan, I thought of the best way to leverage the pub to help people I’d been helping before and support the Trussell Trust.
“Through December we had a lot of bookings for Christmas parties from offices in the area, and as we don’t charge for hire, I asked people to bring a donation for Islington Foodbank instead, and kept reminding people in the lead up. It went really well, and we raised nearly a ton of food in December.
“When we turned vegan in January, we wanted to do a two-for-one offer to promote the new menu, which was another opportunity to get more donations, so we said the offer involved giving donations, and listed what they should bring and again we got a huge amount of food. We also have a pub quiz every week, so people have to bring donations for this. People in the area drop food in our collecting bin. In the summer, we will do a two-for-one again to promote our new menu, and will use this to get more donations for the Foodbank.”