Struggling families bank on Foodshare

Struggling families bank on Foodshare
Clydebank Post

VITAL food parcels have been delivered to hard-up Bankies struggling to feed their families.

The move comes after West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare – a group of community activists and volunteers who banded together to assist the worst affected people in the town – staged their first public event in Drumchapel Sainsbury’s recently.

On the day 40 volunteers distributed leaflets and helped with bag-packing to raise awareness of Foodshare as well as receiving donations of just under £800 from generous Sainsbury’s customers.

Foodshare volunteers also collected a total of 11 trolleys of supplies donated by customers and staff at Sainsbury’s to help make up food parcels for the increasing number of destitute Bankies struggling to cope.

In addition Sainsbury’s also donated £250 in vouchers to Foodshare to help develop the initiative.

In recent months more and more struggling families have come forward looking for help as high levels of unemployment, rising living costs and fuel prices, upcoming welfare reforms and low wages take their toll.

Joe McCormack, manager at West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau, told the Post: "It was clear that some people have a very strong fear that they themselves may at some point in the future need food parcels.

"With a struggling local economy, with benefit cuts – because that’s what the welfare reforms mean for many people – with many employers struggling to maintain staffing levels, and with inflation rising far more quickly than income, many people commented that it could be them looking for food parcels this time next year.

"The support was overwhelming.

"We have had terrific support from the outset and from the minute we started bag-packing in the store and handing out leaflets it was clear that we had tremendous support from the staff and the customers at Sainsbury’s.

"It is heartening to know that people are reaching their own conclusions about what is happening with the welfare reforms.

"A lot of the criticisms of people on benefits has been divisive but many of the people who made donations were clearly more concerned with helping those in need rather than pointing the finger."

Following the event’s success Foodshare volunteers were able to distribute a total of 75 food parcels to struggling families throughout the area.

A further meeting was also scheduled to be held in Clydebank Town Hall as the Post went to press yesterday (Tuesday) in order to elect a Board of Trustees to consolidate and develop the work for the foreseeable future.

Jean Powell, whose own church is involved in supporting Foodshare and in helping to distribute food parcels, added:

"We know we need to keep this going.

"It is obvious from the conversations that we have had within our communities and with customers at Sainsbury’s that there is a growing recognition that many people are struggling.

"We know there are people trying to find work and we know there are people in work who are struggling to feed themselves and their children."