Pete Wishart

SNP MP FOR PERTH & PERTHSHIRE NORTH Keep sup­port­ing this vi­tal ser­vice

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS -

Around this time last year my of­fice was first reg­is­tered to be able to re­fer peo­ple to Perth and Kin­ross Food­bank.

For the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who are for­tu­nate enough not to have had to rely on a food­bank, most do not re­alise that peo­ple who use food­bank ser­vices are re­ferred by other agen­cies and don’t sim­ply turn up at the door look­ing for as­sis­tance.

For or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Trus­sel­lTrust, who ad­min­is­ter Perth and Kin­ross Food­bank, this is largely to en­sure proper logs of who is us­ing the food­bank and to en­sure that those who are most in need of the ser­vice are get­ting quick ac­cess to it.

Dur­ing the last year I have been shocked by the num­ber of peo­ple who have come to my of­fice look­ing for a re­fer­ral to the lo­cal food­bank.

Whilst my of­fice deals with a large num­ber of some­times vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­u­als on a weekly ba­sis, staff have still been sur­prised by just how many peo­ple are fall­ing through the cracks and who need to come to us to ask for emer­gency help.

The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple only ever come once or twice, as nor­mally what­ever prob­lems they are hav­ing can be re­solved, even if it is not al­ways as quickly as we would like.

There are many rea­sons that peo­ple need to ask for emer­gency help.

Prob­lems in re­ceiv­ing wel­fare ben­e­fits is pretty high on the list and the roll-out of univer­sal credit in my con­stituency has meant an in­crease in those who have no idea when their next pay­ment might be made.

Is­sues in re­ceiv­ing pay­ments from the child main­te­nance ser­vice has also fea­tured promi­nently on the list and this is some­thing which dis­pro­por­tion­ally af­fects women the most.

I was trou­bled to be con­tacted by staff and vol­un­teers from Perth and Kin­ross Food­bank re­cently who have a real worry that their cur­rent fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion and rent costs may mean that they will have to close their doors in as lit­tle as twelve months.

I have al­ready con­tacted Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil who have agreed to look again at the de­ci­sion not to of­fer any fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to the char­ity. I will con­tinue to do what I can to as­sist in en­sur­ing that this im­por­tant lo­cal char­ity con­tin­ues to op­er­ate.

The food­bank is al­ways look­ing for do­na­tions – both mon­e­tary and of course in food to dis­trib­ute.

Whilst many peo­ple are mak­ing a con­scious ef­fort to do­nate around Christ­mas time, Jan­uary can of­ten be when help is needed the most.

I would en­cour­age any­one who can do­nate even just a few tins or pack­ets to con­sider help­ing and to re­mem­ber them through­out 2018. Do­na­tion points can be found by go­ing to www. perthk­in­ross.food­bank.org. uk

Con­cerns Pete Wishart pictured dur­ing a visit to the Perth and Kin­ross Food­bank ear­lier this year

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