Northwick Park Hospital has teamed up with a local charity to provide food parcels for patients struggling to make ends meet.
Sufra Food Bank and Kitchen, which distributes more than 100 tonnes of free food a year, is asking staff to help identify patients before they are discharged from hospital.
The Stonebridge based charity initially provides a week’s supply of food via sixty local agencies including Brent Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Rajesh Makwana, Capacity Building Manager for Sufra, said: “People are identified and referred through a network of agencies and then they pick up their food from our depot.
“We are allowing hospital staff to distribute the food directly because the majority of clients are likely to be elderly and it is more convenient.”
The charity feeds more than 4,000 people a year and, together with food distribution, offers a community kitchen, garden where people can grow their own food, refugee resettlement programme and employment training.
The first hospital team to get involved in the project is the Short Term Assessment, Rehabilitation and Reablement Service (STARRS). The team offers a range of healthcare, rehabilitation and reablement services for patients in Brent.
Nipa Shah, Clinical Manager for STARRS, said: “We occasionally have patients who have difficulty getting essential food supplies on discharge from hospital.
“It takes them a few days to re-establish their contacts in the community and get their shopping done. The food bags will be invaluable in ensuring these patients have enough food whilst they wait to get their own supplies.”