Showing posts with label FOOD BANKS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FOOD BANKS. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Scots wha hae not

The number of children relying on food banks in one council area has jumped by almost a quarter in just three months.

Statistics compiled by Renfrewshire Council show the number of children receiving food bank help rose from 355 to 437 between July and September.
It said the rise coincided with benefit changes and payment delays and called for help from the Scottish government.
The Scottish government said it would continue to protect the most vulnerable from UK government cuts.
In the same three months, 947 food bank vouchers were issued by the council to 72 families and 149 single parents.
This is on top of figures which showed more than 7000 Scots were forced to use food banks in the week before Christmas.
Low income was the biggest factor in 27 per cent of cases, while benefit delays were a factor in 24 per cent and 15 per cent were due to a benefit change.
Ewan Gurr, Scotland network manager for the Trussell Trust, said:

“The message we are clearly hearing in our food banks is not so much that people are struggling with a low income but with no income. This is not about misplaced spending priorities but families struggling on tight budgets where increased winter fuel bills and the absence of free school meals can mean having to make a decision between a warm home and a warm meal. Many individuals and families are simply experiencing a financial famine.”

This is to be set in context with the fact that the 62 richest people on the planet are worth more than the combined wealth of half the world’s population and the richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, according to Oxfam. Poverty is not just absolute, but relative, to the collective wealth produced.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Having to beg for a morsel

A record number of adults and children relied upon food banks in Scotland in December, according to new figures obtained by the BBC. Nearly 10,500 people visited the Trussell Trust's 48 food banks for the first time in the charity's history.

The data also reveals a third of users cited low income - and not welfare benefit delays - for their predicament. 3,005 people (28%) said they used a Scottish food bank due to low income in December, closely followed by 2,527 (24%) because of a benefit delay, and 1,555 (15%) due to a benefit change. The Clyde, Avon and Nethan food bank reported that 77% of people given a food package in December cited low income as the main contributing factor. Many users visiting the food banks at Airdrie and Lochaber also blamed low incomes (50% and 48% respectively.)

The figure is a 13% increase from the 9,263 people who used a Trussell Trust food bank in December 2013. In December 2014, 10,489 people visiting Scottish food banks were given a three day supply of nutritionally balanced food by the charity - a third of them children. The charity underlined that the final figure for December visits is likely to be even higher as food bank staff continue to input data into their system.

Ewan Gurr, the charity's network manager for Scotland, said he was concerned that many low income families were forced to face hunger in the run-up to Christmas due to financial difficulties. He said: "Every day we are hearing working people describe the devastating reality of sustaining their families with static incomes and unstable employment against consistently rising costs of essentials like food and rent. In the most harrowing accounts, we hear from the families choosing whether to prioritise heating their homes or feeding their families and parents losing weight because they overlook their own health and wellbeing to feed their children."

The Trust, which partners with churches and communities, currently operates more than 1,200 food distribution centres across the UK. The Trust's figures also reveal Dundee had the highest number of adults (3,750) using food banks in the last year, while south east Glasgow had the highest number of children (1,975).

A government document published last month suggested low income families may face increasing financial difficulties in the future. According to the report, approximately 820,000 people were living in relative poverty in 2013 - an increase of 110,000 from the previous year. This increase in relative poverty - where someone lives in a household that receives less than 60% of the UK average income - was attributed to a continued fall in incomes. The report concluded: "Low wage growth (particularly for those in less skilled employment), changes in the labour market, and tightening of eligibility and conditionality under welfare reform have resulted in lower median income."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Run on a Food bank

The largest food bank in Scotland, which exists to help feed the poverty stricken, has run out of food. The food bank in Glasgow has been cleaned out because the number of families asking for help has reached record levels.

The number of people requesting help via the Citizens Advice Bureau for food in January was more than half the number turning up to food banks throughout the whole of 2013. The food banks are mostly run by the Trussell Trust, which runs 42 food banks in Scotland alone.

The alarming scale of poverty crisis in the UK led to the Glasgow City Mission closing its doors and unable to provide basic foodstuffs to those in need. Almost 8,000 people in Scotland were helped in January alone by being offered tinned fruit, bread and other foodstuffs donated by others. But following an appeal by the Glasgow Mission, schoolchildren in the city's schools collected food from parents to give to the charity to help with the shortfall.

To qualify for food bank handouts, applicants are strictly selected and their finances looked into before being offered any food.

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Solution is Socialism

The number of people turning to food banks for emergency aid is expected to hit at least 55,000 by the end of the financial year, the Trussell Trust charity said. Any economic growth is being undermined by rising living costs, welfare cuts and a lack of jobs, the charity says.

Scotland now has 43 food banks which helped around 39,000 people with emergency supplies between April 1 and December 23.

Mr Gurr, the charity’s Scotland development officer, said: “It is not scaremongering, it is reality and the coalition Government can ignore that as much as they want. They can focus on the 0.8% growth in the economy and decreasing unemployment throughout the country. That’s good. That is something we celebrate, but there is more work to be done. The rising cost of living means that those in work are harder-pressed than they ever were. We are seeing an increasing number of people who are in work, who had sustainable incomes five years ago but, because of the rising cost of living, are not able to make that income stretch as far as it used to. People in that position are unable to put food on the table, or have to use a food bank. Work doesn’t always pay a sustainable amount for a family of two or three or more.”

He added “For us as an organisation, the result of the independence referendum or the next general election is irrelevant...The time has now come for creative solutions.”

And all Socialist Courier can say is that the solution has been right in front of Mr Gurr’s face and the rest of the working class for a long time but he and they still fail to see it. Socialism not charity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fewer Festive Feasts

 Desperate Scots are turning to food banks and soup kitchens in soaring numbers across the country, new research has found. More than 20,000 people have received food handouts in the last six months alone Hundred of people in Glasgow are expected to go hungry over the festive period, with the numbers turning to food banks at a worrying high. New figures from charity The Trussell Trust, which runs four food banks in the city, show the numbers accessing their lifeline services has more than doubled. Some 27,603 meals have been handed out by just three food banks in the city in the last three months. Since September, 1417 have been fed by the Truss-ell Trust food bank in Scotstoun, 1365 by the Govanhill branch and 285 by the service in Parkhead. That is 29 people a day, compared to 12 people a day in the first six months of 2013/14.There are more than 15 food banks in the city run by other groups and churches. 

A Scottish Government report identified 55 food banks and soup kitchens in eight towns and cities, but the overall Scotland-wide figure is likely to be much higher.

Many Scots turning to food banks in recent years are not long-term homeless, but have run into “one-off” money difficulties, as wages slump and benefits fall. Ewan Gurr, Scotland Development Officer with the Trust explained “The number of men, women and children living on a financial knife-edge due to a lethal cocktail of rising living costs, welfare reform and minimal employment opportunities is unacceptable...”

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Food Bank Poverty

Hungry Fifers are going without food for days as times get tougher for low earners. One woman turned up at Dunfermline Foodbank having had nothing to eat for two days. Alarmingly, around half of the people who turn up looking for help cannot afford food despite being in employment.
John Drylie, who runs the foodbank said “About 50% of the people we are dealing with at the foodbank are on low wages, which is quite a concern. They’re not making ends meet. For low wage earners, something like a big bill is enough to put them back. We are finding that they are making sure the kids have something to eat but they are going without.

A new Kirkcaldy foodbank has been launched, as the town faces poverty “of an unbelievable scale”.
“The opening comes as one local Fife charity has predicted ‘the worst year yet’ for poor families, with many needing help just to survive and dreading Christmas this year as a result of benefit changes and the spiralling cost of food and fuel. Years ago, a Christmas appeal would focus on toys — the kind of presents those families struggling to make ends meet could enjoy as small extras. Now, the main emphasis in our appeals this Christmas is for basic food. Our Christmas message must be that no Government should allow the poor and vulnerable to sink so low that they cannot feed themselves.” local MP Gordon Brown, ex- Chancellor and ex-Prime minister said, oblivious to his own contribution to the situation.

The failure to establish a major foodbank project in Glenrothes could see some children go hungry on a daily basis, according to a leading community figure, Mary Hill, director of the Glenrothes YMCA-YWCA, who also said that the number of local families going hungry will only increase in the near future, as many continue to be affected by the economic climate.

Levenmouth Foodbank was launched in September as more and more people find themselves in financial crisis, compounded by the recession, benefit changes, the so-called bedroom tax and soaring energy bills. Councillor Andrew Rodger said: “It’s disgraceful in a civilised society like Britain we have foodbanks because of what is going on at UK level.”

Welfare changes have seen a 120% rise in people using the Dundee foodbank. In all, 1,958 people, including 465 children, used the charitable facility this year, compared to 887 for the same period in 2012. More than 700 of those who used the Dundee foodbank were referred by the Scottish Welfare Fund, which has halted its issuing of crisis loans. The startling figures reflect the growing use of foodbanks across Scotland, with 8,000 more people using their services around the country — a 400% increase on figures from the same period last year.

“The reality is that there is a clear link between benefit delays or changes and people turning to foodbanks, and that the situation has got worse in the last three months,” said the Trussell Trust’s executive chairman Chris Mould. “Since April’s welfare reforms we’ve seen more people referred to foodbanks because of benefit delays or changes,” he said.

The Rev David Robertson, a Free Church of Scotland minister, believes that the increased figures reflect that the Government has got its priorities wrong. “We’re not talking here about people who have just come off the street. These are people who are being referred and have a genuine need,” he said. “I think the fact that that increase in the use of the foodbank has taken place shows the real impact of the cuts...“How can they be subsidising childcare for a family on £300,000 a year while people are going hungry and being thrown out of their homes? It is the politics of privilege and the economics of madness.”