Thou­sands use food­bank

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Edel Ke­nealy

Al­most 2,000 peo­ple have been fed by the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Food­bank over the past fi­nan­cial year.

The char­ity, which also sup­ported a num­ber of fam­i­lies liv­ing in fuel poverty, pub­lished its an­nual fig­ures at an AGM on Mon­day evening.

Al­most 2,000 peo­ple have been fed by Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Food­bank in the past fi­nan­cial year.

Fig­ures re­vealed by the char­ity at its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Mon­day, April 25, show that in the 2015/16 year 1,922 adults and chil­dren were fed via the char­ity’s three-day food parcels.

The vast ma­jor­ity of those seek­ing sup­port - 1,261 - were from Ruther­glen, of which 433 were chil­dren.

In Cam­bus­lang 179 adults and 77 chil­dren were sup­ported by the ser­vice.

A fur­ther 263 adults and 121 young­sters re­ceived emer­gency food sup­plies in Whit­law­burn, while the ori­gins of fur­ther 13 peo­ple were un­known.

Across all ar­eas 1,058 food vouch­ers, dished out by re­fer­ral agen­cies such as so­cial work and schools, were handed in in the past 12 months.

Through­out the year 79 house­holds were given a £25 topup for pay- as- you- go elec­tric­ity or gas me­tres, paid for via a £680 do­na­tion.

The food bank, which is open four times per week, says while it had no com­par­a­tive fig­ures to hand, the de­mand for food, toi­letries, baby items and fuel shows no signs of abat­ing.

Ian Robert­son, of the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Food­bank com­mit­tee, said: “It is cer­tainly the case that aus­ter­ity con­tin­ues to hit the most vul­ner­a­ble hard­est.

“We know the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are com­ing be­cause they have been sanc­tioned.

“The rea­son Ruther­glen has such a high num­ber of peo­ple at­tend­ing is be­cause we are so prom­i­nent at St Colum­bkille’s Church, as its on the Main Street.

“We are look­ing at ways we can in­crease the knowl­edge of where we are and what we are do­ing and now ev­ery­one who comes to the food bank will be given busi­ness cards to give to their pals, so they can spread the word.”

Statis­tics for the food bank come in the same week the or­gan­i­sa­tion held a food drive at Mor­ri­son’s su­per­mar­ket in Cam­bus­lang.

The event on Fri­day, April 22, saw a whop­ping to 1.4 tons of food col­lected and £90 in do­na­tions.

Mr Robert­son says the gen­eros­ity of lo­cal peo­ple never ceases to sur­prise him.

He added: “On Fri­day a cou­ple took five bags out of their trol­ley and gave them to us and took away one bag for them­selves. You go from that to a wee old pen­sioner giv­ing you a pack of pasta and that’s just as valu­able to us. That is just two sto­ries of many.”

The food drive was one of three held in the past year, while lo­cal schools con­tinue to sup­port the food bank, con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly through har­vest fes­ti­vals and class projects.

Food Drive Mor­ri­son’s cus­tomer Anne McManus, sec­ond left, puts some goods into the food bank bas­ket, manned by Gus Smeaton, Mai­die Smeaton and Bruce McGar­rie

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.