Social Justice

Glasgow food banks appeal for help as supplies run low

Trussell Trust food banks in Glasgow put out call for extra food donations as numbers surge

The growth of food banks has been the subject of testy political debate in recent years, with some cynics suggesting that the more of them you open, the more people will come to depend upon them.

The former work and pensions minister Ian Duncan Smith once accused the charity running most of Britain’s food banks of “scaremongering” about acute poverty, while the department under his command claimed rising food bank use was simply down to greater “awareness” of their existence.

But food banks in Glasgow have made it clear the desperate need is real and demand is now outstripping supply.

The Glasgow North East, North West and South West food banks, all part of The Trussell Trust network, issued appeals for food donations over the bank holiday weekend.

“Our shelves are near empty this week,” Glasgow North West tweeted on Friday. The food bank has seen a surge in new people after independent food bank in the area was force to close, and organisers said “the pressure just now is staggering.”

The Glasgow North East food bank also took to Twitter to state: “Urgent we are running too low now on supplys.” Organisers said they had been “overwhelmed” by the public response to the call for food.

Elsewhere in the city, donor and volunteer John Beattie said there had been an “unbelievable response to the appeal” at the Glasgow South West food bank after a similar appeal for more food parcels. “Lots of donations flowing in.”

In 2016-17, emergency food parcels given out by food banks in Glasgow were up 18% on the previous year. One Glasgow man coming to the north east food bank in the Parkhead area of the city said it had “saved his life” because he hadn’t eaten in days.

There are many complex reasons why people go to food banks

Prime Minister Theresa May was criticised for her answer to a question about food banks on The Andrew Marr Show. The host asked: “We have nurses going to food banks, that must be wrong?”

May replied: “There are many complex reasons why people go to food banks and I want to create an economy where we have a strong economy where we pay for public services that we need but we are also creating secure jobs.”

Find your local food bank at The Trussell Trust.

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