Glasgow foodbanks plunged into crisis

Food donation box

One foodbank closes shop while another has its funding pulled 

25th February 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

The death knell is sounding for two of Glasgow’s best known and busiest foodbanks after one stopped operating and another had its funding pulled by the Scottish Government.  

Greater Maryhill Foodbank (GMF) and Glasgow’s Needy once waged war against each other but now face an uncertain future.

Glasgow’s Needy, spearheaded by father and son duo Andrew and Darren Carnegie, suddenly ceased delivering food parcels just before Christmas without explanation.

And GMF is facing closure after the Scottish Government said it would no longer fund it after it “failed to comply with grant conditions.”

It is alleged the foodbank didn’t provide services to Maryhill and Possilpark Citizens Advice Bureau despite being funded to do so by Scottish Government grant.          

This comes on top of investigation by Glasgow City Council in which the foodbank was asked to give evidence of grant expenditure but consistently failed to do so.

As a result, the foodbank temporarily closed only to reopen in new premises but at a far reduced capacity.

In light of the news, local councillor Billy McAllister called on the board - led by Julie Webster - to resign their positions and has pledged to set up another foodbank.

He said: “Greater Maryhill Foodbank is not fit to govern. That’s why the funding was stopped.

“Ms Webster and her so called new board should hang their heads in shame, do the right thing and resign.

Ms Webster and her so called new board should hang their heads in shame, do the right thing and resign

“For more than two years they have refused to feed the people in the canal ward.

“I intend to look into setting up something to replace GMF.

“It has never been my intention to take this service away, but I could not sit back and allow my constituents to be deprived a service of receiving food in these hard times.”

Foodbanks in the city are relied on more than ever by an increasing amount of people desperate for emergency food as they struggle with crippling living costs.

Glasgow’s Needy rose to prominence during the independence debate when generous Glaswegians left carrier bags full of provisions in George Square as a response to Westminster-imposed welfare cuts.

It has distributed thousands of parcels to individuals and organisations throughout the Greater Glasgow area.

But the Carnegies proved to be controversial figures, clashing personally with Julie Webster and often staging bizarre publicity stunts in George Square – one of which was a failed week-long sleepover in sub-zero temperatures.

The group was not a registered charity and questions were repeatedly asked how cash donations were being spent.

However, the Carnegie’s always stringently denied any wrongdoing.  

In his last statement on Glasgow’s Needy’s Facebook page, Andrew Carnegie said: “Be useful and kind in your actions not to one but all, and spare a thought for the less fortunate around this wonderful planet.”

TFN has attempted to contact both Webster and the Carnegies.