LANCASHIRE County Council will allocate £150,000 to strengthen the infrastructure of foodbanks.

The council approved the decision in a bid to tackle food poverty after demand on Lancashire foodbanks rocketed in the last year.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing Azhar Ali approved the decision, which will see £150,000 of public health grant funding used to set up a small grants scheme for foodbanks in Lancashire.

The money will not pay directly for food supplies, but provide more of a supportive measure to ensure that foodbanks are able to cope with high demands and do not face the threat of unexpected outgoings alone.

Coun Ali explained that the money would be used to fix delivery vans, provide computer support and support the day-to-day running of the foodbanks in Lancashire that have already helped hundreds of thousands of people.

He said: “The council held consultations with church groups and foodbanks after witnessing the rise of food poverty in Lancashire and the increasing demand on foodbanks.

“We held three foodbank summits in December last year to assess the impact of food poverty in Lancashire and look for opportunities to tackle it.

“Government cuts and austerity mean that people are facing crisis like never before and the council needs to support the foodbanks.”

Mandy Newlove, of Community Solutions, a social enterprise that runs a foodbank based in Hyndburn and Burnley said: “We welcome any cash and support as we are fully reliant on donations.

“It is a good thing that the council are recognising food poverty as a serious issue.

“The money will free up a lot of time for us to work with our clients and find out why they were facing crisis in the first place and try and solve the root cause.”