Festive foodbank demand set to soar

Foodbanks

The Trussell Trust is asking for supporters to send donations in as soon as possible as it gears up for its busiest month yet

27th November 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity which operates foodbanks around the country has made a desperate plea for donations ahead of Christmas.

The Trussell Trust has said demand for support next month is likely to soar.

The trust reported its busiest ever month in Scotland last December, with 20,276 referrals, including 7651 children.

The charity expects this number to rise again due to the impact of welfare reforms and rising poverty.

Chief executive Emma Revie said: “Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy but what we’re seeing is the festive period becoming increasingly stressful for more and more people across the country. Our benefits system is supposed protect us all from being swept into poverty – but what we’re seeing is people struggling to heat homes and put food on the table because they simply cannot afford the basics anymore and that just isn’t right.

“We know it doesn’t have to be like this. In the short-term we’re urging the public to donate generously during the first part of December and into the new year, as unfortunately the need for foodbanks is not going to end after Christmas.”

As demand increases in the run up to Christmas, The Trussell Trust is asking supporters to donate as early as possible in December to help alleviate pressure from volunteers during its busiest time of the year.

The charity has highlighted the effect that Universal Credit is having on foodbank demand, with many left without benefits for periods of several weeks.

Audrey Flannagan, who has managed the Glasgow south-east food bank for seven years, said: “Christmas is the busiest time of year and we are already struggling to cope with demand.

“Many are desperate and don’t have money to buy their kids presents, let alone fund a Christmas dinner.

“Our referral rates have increased and people coming through our doors have been left penniless by the new rules.

“It’s now quite common to see folk who are completely ­destitute.

“People who cannot work for medical reasons are losing about £300 a month and are being left without enough to live on.”

To donate to your local foodbank, visit the Trussell Trust website.