Business heads vowed to step up a “call to action” to help a struggling foodbank whose client base has doubled in a year.

Watford Foodbank met with business people at VWV Solicitors in Clarendon Road yesterday afternoon to discuss the next phase of a scheme called “Foodbank Friday” which aims to ensure the charity gets a steady stream of provisions from companies.

The drive to help was orchestrated by Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Chris Luff.

The foodbank’s trustee and manager, Andrew Tranter, recently told the Watford Observer he had seen demand in Watford double since 2017, attributing some of the increase to Universal Credit.

He said: “We distribute between five and six tonnes of food a month. This has doubled since last year.

“The reason is Universal Credit. It caused problems for people who faced weeks without pay and we are still suffering. It had a marked impact on our food stores.”

Mr Luff, along with several other businesses in Watford and the surrounding area such as VWV Solicitors, Watford and Three Rivers Trust, St John’s School, The Princes Trust, Sarratt Office Supplies, Watford Football Club and Clarendon Connect, a networking group made up of businesses in Clarendon Road, vowed to help.

They propose to launch the first Foodbank Friday under ‘Clarendon Road Collects’, on November 16.

Mr Luff said he wanted to engage “as many businesses as possible” in the project.

At VWV offices yesterday, the group discussed a door-to-door campaign in Clarendon Road with the help of technology apprentices from West Herts College.

The team also discussed involving more supermarkets in a scheme that would see online shopping donations made straight to the foodbank, and speaking to hotel chefs in Watford who could recommend easy-to-make dishes for foodbank clients to follow.

Watford Foodbank manager, Andrew Tranter, said his branch had recently taken on more volunteers and increased its working week from five to six days to “cope with the demand”.

He added: “The food bank is a needs-driven project. If we didn’t need to be doing it, it wouldn’t be necessary, but it is absolutely necessary.”

For more information of how your organisation can be involved contact Chris/Saffron on 01923 442442 or email

To learn more about Watford Food Bank, visit