A foodbank is opening in ‘affluent’ Milngavie because a local need has been identified and some people are suffering from financial hardship.
It has been set up in St Joseph’s RC Church after social services and the Citizens Advice Bureau confirmed that there are pockets of deprivation in the area where some people struggle to afford to pay for the basics such as food and energy to heat their homes.
The foodbank, which opened its doors on Monday, February 3, will be open every Monday and Friday from 2pm to 3.30pm.
It is intended for one-off emergencies and anyone who wants to collect food must be referred by an agency such as their GP surgery or health centre.
They will issue them with a voucher which entitles them to receive enough food to last three days and they can claim a maximium of four times until they need to be referred again.
This scheme in Milngavie is a satellite of the East Dunbartonshire foodbank which has its headquarters in Kirkintilloch and is linked with the Trussel Trust.
St Joseph’s RC Church has been chosen because of its handy location and facilities including the hall space, food storage facilities and kitchen.
Chair of St Joseph’s Justice and Peace Group, Paul McGill, said: “I wasn’t surprised to hear that there is a need for the foodbank here as we also run the Vincent de Paul group at St Joseph’s when we hand out food to people and top up their gas and electricity cards.
“Demand for foodbanks has rocketed in recent years due to changes in social benefits and that will continue to have an impact on the poorest people in society.
“When a person’s benefits are stopped, for whatever reason, they are suddenly left with no income at all and they can’t even afford to buy food.
“Not everyone is on benefits. I believe that about 50 per cent of people accessing foodbanks nationally are earning the minumum wage and they run into trouble.
“The cost of food has risen by 30 per cent in recent years and heating and lighting by 60 per cent.
“Everything is getting more expensive but wages and benefits often aren’t increasing.
“It’s not a good situation and reflects badly on our society.”
For more information call 0141 578 6006.