Experts from the charity and business sectors are set to team up with a group of councillors to examine the use of food banks in Brent.
Six councillors will join experts from West London Business, Child Poverty Action Group, TUC and The Trussell Trust to form the new scrutiny committee task group, which aims to gain a clear understanding of the triggers for food bank usage.
The task group will also examine policies both locally and nationally that lead to food bank use and will seek to make recommendations that will improve the lives of those who depend on this kind of charitable help.
Figures obtained by Brent Council show that there are more than 2,000 food banks operating in the UK, but this does not include informal food parcel distribution by social welfare charities, children’s centres, churches, housing associations, hospitals and other groups.
Cllr Roxanne Mashari, Chair of the Task Group, said:
“In recent years we have witnessed a worrying increase in the demand for food banks here in Brent and across the country. In 2017 it should shame us all that anyone should have to choose between paying their rent or feeding their family.
“While food bank staff and volunteers are doing a heroic job in supporting families and individuals in poverty, we need to look at the underlying causes of why people are being forced to use food banks as a last resort and how public, voluntary and private sector partners can work more strategically together to make sure people are getting the help and support they need.”