Food shock

Nearly 1,000 kids would have gone hun­gry

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Jonathan Ged­des

Close to 1,000 chil­dren in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang have had to rely on sup­plies from a lo­cal food bank over the past fi­nan­cial year.

The shock fig­ures revealed by Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Foodbank also showed a to­tal of 3,166 peo­ple had to use the fa­cil­ity.

Close to 1,000 chil­dren in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang have had to rely on sup­plies from a lo­cal food bank over the past year.

The shock fig­ures were revealed by Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Foodbank.

They also showed the amount of food parcels be­ing dis­trib­uted by the food bank has more than dou­bled in the past year.

Cash do­na­tions to the group have also in­creased, but the vast ma­jor­ity of ex­tra money is now be­ing used on pur­chas­ing ex­tra food sup­plies.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Ian Robertson said: “One child need­ing fed is a dis­as­ter, never mind a thou­sand.

“The ac­tual pro­por­tion of chil­dren (us­ing the food bank) has stayed roughly the same as the pre­vi­ous year, it’s just the over­all num­bers have gone up over the past year.

“Part of it is that we are al­most vic­tims of our own suc­cess, be­cause far more peo­ple are aware of us now and will come here.

“But there is also the fact that the Depart­ment of Work and Pen­sions are sanc­tion­ing more and more peo­ple who are hav­ing to use the food banks.

“Our bank bal­ance is still healthy, al­though this will be a con­cern if the num­bers keep go­ing up.

“We will need more do­na­tions, be­cause the cur­rent do­na­tions are go­ing straight out the door to help peo­ple.”

The fig­ures showed a to­tal of 3,166 peo­ple were fed by the food bank.

There were 406 adults fed in Cam­bus­lang, and 160 chil­dren.

In Ruther­glen the fig­ures were even worse with 1,419 adults be­ing fed and 713 chil­dren.

The fa­cil­ity at Whit­law­burn saw 355 adults and 100 chil­dren fed.

The group are also cur­rently look­ing for more vol­un­teers.

Ian added: “We need more vol­un­teers and we des­per­ately need some­one to take on the role of a food bank man­ager.

“That would in­volve things like co-or­di­nat­ing the vol­un­teers and the sup­plies and an­swer­ing calls and emails - we di­vide that be­tween com­mit­tee mem­bers at the mo­ment but it would be good if some­one could take that over in an official role.”

The fig­ures were revealed at the group’s AGM.

The meet­ing saw all the food bank’s cur­rent com­mit­tee re­turned un­op­posed.

Do­na­tions can be handed into St Colum­bkilles Church Hall be­tween 12.30pm and 2.30pm, Mon­day to Thurs­day, West Whit­law­burn Com­mu­nity Cen­tre be­tween 6pm and 8pm on Tues­days and Cam­bus­lang Bap­tist Church be­tween 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Fri­days.

Emer­gency food parcels can also be col­lected from these venues at these times.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the food bank or to en­quire about vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties visit ruther­g­len­cam­bus­lang.foodbank.org.uk or call 07393 737030.

Work­ing hard Staff and vol­un­teers at the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Foodbank are hav­ing to work even harder to keep up with de­mand from the com­mu­nity

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