Harlesden church helps struggling families put food on the table

Reverend teams up with charity to give out parcels to the poor

A charity and church has set up a food bank in Brent to help struggling families put food on the table.

The Trussell Trust helps churches and communities to open food banks and provide emergency food for people on low incomes or who are in a time of need.

Parcels are given out on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Pentecostal City Mission church, in Scrubs Lane, Harlesden.

Reverend Desmond Hall, who has helped run the project for the past six months, said: “The church was excited to help. We are in one of the most deprived wards in the UK. It was ideal for us to get involved.

“Some families take two or three bags home for the week which they would not be able to afford.

“It is amazing and inspirational. I’m really proud to be part of it.”

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People who need help feeding their families are given food vouchers by agencies like the local authority, Brent Citizens’ Advice Bureau or their GP, which they can trade in return for food.

Volunteers from the project visit Asda, in Park Royal, where they ask generous members of the community to buy one extra item to donate for the parcels. Items must be non-perishable like bags of rice, pasta, canned food and packs of biscuits.

Mr Hall said: “I am always amazed by the generosity of people. They never fail. Even in a time of extreme hardship and recession, people still give. This is people power.”

Zaffar Van Kalwala, Stonebridge councillor, praised the church’s involvement with the project. He said: “The City Mission Church is doing some fantastic work for our community. Sadly, it also highlights the reality of life for families caught in the poverty trap. They are being forced to make choices between whether to eat, heat their homes of clothe their children.

“It is shocking that we have areas of great wealth living alongside communities where families are literally struggling to survive. The Government needs to take decisive action to make sure more Brent families don’t slip into poverty.”

To donate food call the church on 020 8964 6011 or visit www.trusselltrust.org