Camden Council is allowing some of its empty offices to be turned into storage facilities for food banks.
The vacant building had originally been earmarked for sale as part of the council’s accommodation strategy however it will now be let at a peppercorn licence fee to help feed struggling families.
The agreement will also see two previously unemployed local residents being given jobs within the social enterprise.
A six-month licence has been issued to Camden Foodbank Ltd, which is linked to the Trussell trust. The group works with charitable and community organisations nationwide to provide emergency food to people in crisis, reports 24dash.
Cockpit Yard will be used as a storage facility for collected food which will allow it to be sorted and distributed across various sites. It will also allow the Camden Foodbank Ltd to provide a more co-ordinated and targeted service across the borough.
In Camden, 1,100 emergency meals were issued between April and September.
The council’s cabinet member for finance, councillor Theo Blackwell, said: “Food banks are a sad sign of our times, but we have to help those in need if we can, especially around Christmas. We are wary of the slippery slope with food banks you see in America, where they have become a cheap substitute for proper social security in many states. At the same time as helping the food bank we are determined to tackle the root cause of poverty by providing as much advice and support as possible and help into training and work. I am pleased that two long-term unemployed people will get jobs as a result of this.”
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