BrentFoodback sets up a permanent home in Willesden
PUBLISHED: 10:53 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:53 22 February 2016
A foodbank in Brent has entered a new era offering anti-poverty projects in its first permanent home in Willesden.
BrentFoodbank has secured a seven-year lease from Brent Council for a space in St Mary’s Church in Neasden Lane, which includes a kitchen, a new café area and showers.
The Trussell Trust, an anti-poverty charity, funded the refurbishment of the derelict building for the charity, which helped 1,542 people between January and December last year.
Michele Lawrence, BrentFoodbank manager, said: “We’re really grateful for the investment of the Trussell Trust and the help of Brent Council, which will ensure the need in the community is met.
Life is very difficult for many people in Brent and a permanent building means we can better raise awareness of where the foodbank is located amongst vulnerable groups helped by other agencies in the borough.”
Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, who attended the launch, said: “I’m very pleased that BrentFoodbank has found a permanent home.
“The dedication of Michele the project manager and her volunteers is admirable and I continue to be shocked by the hardship and hunger experienced by the people they help. Foodbanks do an incredible job and if we are ever to tackle hunger and poverty in the UK we urgently need more action from Government to help tackle the causes of crises that lead to people being unable to eat.”
The new space allows BrentFoodbank to introduce a variety of More Than Food services, such as debt advice and legal surgeries, aimed at tackling the root causes of a person’s crisis and reason for visiting a foodbank.
More Than Food is an initiative run by the Trussell Trust to help address the wider issues that may cause hunger.
New services also include an Eat Well Spend Less course, helping people to cook and eat healthily on a budget.
David McAuley, chief exectutive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We’re really pleased BrentFoodbank now has its own, permanent, premises.
“The Trussell Trust have invested in the foodbank as a pilot centre for a range of new projects designed to help people to break out of crisis faster.
“Our pilot projects show real promise in reducing re-referral to the foodbank and we look forward to starting these in Brent.”