New year cash and do­na­tions boost for food­bank

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

JU­DITH TONNER

Air­drie food­bank started 2019 with a boost of both cash and do­na­tions.

The lo­cal good cause re­ceived £ 1000 from Ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal In­sur­ance, af­ter be­ing cho­sen as one of the lucky char­ity re­cip­i­ents to ben­e­fit from their na­tion­wide “12 days of Christ­mas” cam­paign.

Res­i­dents and staff at John Smith Court in Air­drie then handed over an­other bumper cheque, this time for £470 af­ter col­lect­ing the sum at a spe­cial fundraiser.

Mean­while, an im­pres­sive do­na­tion of more than 860 kilo­grams of vi­tal food items was handed over by Thomas, Brian and John Mal­lon of Sancta Fa­milia Me­dia, with the items hav­ing been col­lected by par­ish­ioners at Holy Fam­ily Church in Mossend.

Food­bank man­ager David Find­lay said: “These do­na­tions were a great boost to our funds and not only a great end to the year but an in­di­ca­tion of a bright start to 2019.

“The do­na­tion from Ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal In­sur­ance was part of their na­tional cam­paign – the pub­lic go on­line to nom­i­nate a par­tic­u­lar char­ity and Air­drie was the only food­bank to re­ceive a do­na­tion.”

Air­drie food­bank is closed to­day but rep­re­sen­ta­tives say it will be “back to busi­ness as usual” on Fri­day.

The lat­est do­na­tions come as fig­ures com­piled by food­bank um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion the Trus­sell Trust show a 26 per cent rise in the num­ber of peo­ple as­sisted by North La­nark­shire food­banks dur­ing a six-month pe­riod last year com­pared to the equiv­a­lent in 2017.

Statis­tics show that a to­tal of 2037 peo­ple were as­sisted in the lo­cal au­thor­ity area be­tween April and Sep­tem­ber, com­pared to 1617 who re­ceived three-day emer­gency sup­ply parcels in the same pe­riod 12 months ear­lier.

The parcels as­sisted 1386 adults and 651 chil­dren; with the rise in parcels given out in North La­nark­shire prov­ing to be nearly dou­ble the Scot­land-wide in­crease of 14.6 per cent.

Alex Neil, the Air­drie MSP, called the in­crease in de­mand for food­bank as­sis­tance “truly heart­break­ing”.

He blamed the rise on the in­tro­duc­tion of Univer­sal Credit, say­ing: “Food­bank providers have said the rise is largely due to the in-built min­i­mum wait of five weeks for a first pay­ment, with many more peo­ple forced to wait even longer.

“The fact that food­bank use is grow­ing across Scot­land is a clearly damn­ing in­dict­ment of UK gov­ern­ment cuts to wel­fare, and the botched roll- out of Univer­sal Credit; it must be halted, so the fun­da­men­tal flaws can be ad­dressed.”

Com­mu­nity sup­port De­lighted Air­drie food­bank rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Jack, left, is pic­tured ac­cept­ing the fan­tas­tic £470 do­na­tion from gen­er­ous res­i­dents of John Smith Court dur­ing his visit to the Air­drie shel­tered hous­ing fa­cil­ity

Help­ing out Holy Fam­ily Church items

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