The largest emergency food agency in Epping Forest may be able to help if you’re feeling lonely and are looking to make new friends.

3Food4u works with and supports the vital work of the NHS and, in particular, Epping Forest and Loughton Mental Health Service (LMH).

The team offers therapeutic interventions, and the charity provides volunteering opportunities within a non-judgemental socially inclusive environment.

These opportunities are being highlighted in Mental Health Awareness week and 3Food4u’s founder and chair of trustees Pesh Kapasiawala said: “One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. There’s no single cause and there’s no one solution. After all, we’re all different. But, the longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems. Some people are also at higher risk of feeling lonely than others.”

Jo Parker, from LMH, said: “Volunteering and helping others can help us feel a sense of belonging, make new friends, and connect with our communities.

“Face-to-face activities such as volunteering at a food bank like 3food4u can also help reduce loneliness and isolation. They have been fantastic for the mental health and wellbeing of clients referred to them.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

Christine Brooker, pictured, who is a community champion of Waltham Abbey and a long-time volunteer, said “3Food4U has been the best volunteering experience I’ve been involved with. I’ve made so many friends.”

3Food4u always appreciates new volunteers to help deliver its vital service.

It also has a fundraising page at

The charity’s community surplus hubs are open as follows:

  • Monday: Waltham Abbey – 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday: Loughton – Loughton Club, 8, Station Road - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Wednesday: Chigwell Row – All Saints Church Hall, Romford Road - 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday: Ongar – Zinc Arts Centre, High Street - 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday: Waltham Abbey – 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm

For further details, visit, email or call 01992 842642.