Dacorum food bank “needs urgent support of council”
Council bosses must do more to support a food bank which supplies vital provisions to hundreds of local residents every week.
That is the demand of Cllr Ron Tindall, who will propose a motion to Dacorum Borough Council on Wednesday (September 18).
The DENS food bank supplies emergency packages of food to people and their families, who may otherwise be forced to go hungry. And the demand for their vital service is growing - with 4,763 people receiving support from the food bank last year (2018/19) - 700 more people than the year before. Cllr Tindall wants councillors to agree that the council should contribute to the funding of the role of co-ordinator at the food bank, from October 1. Speaking in advance of the meeting Cllr Tindall - who is also a member of Hertfordshire County Council - said: “This is a matter of urgency. “We have a proportion of our community who are suffering for a variety of reasons. “And I feel it is right the council should support the food bank and put some money in to it.” Cllr Tindall says he’s been advised that council funding for the co-ordinator role would offer the organisation - which is supported by charitable donations - a sense of permanency. He says he recognises the council has its own funding issues, and says he has not attached a sum to the motion to enable the motion to be supported by councillors of all parties. The DENS food bank put together three-day packages of food for individuals, couple or families - designed to match the facilities they have, whether that’s a cooker, a kettle or just cold water. And if they find residents are repeatedly coming back - in excess of three times in a row - they’ll check to see that they have appropriate support. The motion to the council also points to a number of factors that are impacting on residents and their need for support from the food bank. It highlights the ‘adverse’ impact Universal Credit is having on vulnerable communities, even though it has yet to be fully rolled out in Dacorum. And it highlights the need for holiday clubs with lunch provided for disadvantaged children, supported by the county council. The motion will be debated at a meeting of Dacorum Council on Wednesday (September 18), at 7.30pm. Meetings of the council are open to the public.