Glasgow Food Bank Manager expects rise in clients due to Universal Credit uplift removal

Audrey Flannagan is manager of the Glasgow South East Food bank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank)Audrey Flannagan is manager of the Glasgow South East Food bank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank)
Audrey Flannagan is manager of the Glasgow South East Food bank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank) | Glasgow South East Food bank
Audrey Flannagan is manager of the food bank on Inglefield Street, Glasgow

The manager of the Glasgow South East Food bank has said she expects the number of clients who use the food bank to rise in the coming weeks.

Audrey Flannagan told GlasgowWorld the impact that she expects the removal of the Universal Credit uplift to have a greater impact on clients later in the year and that there was a notable difference made with the extra £20 a week that people on Universal Credit had access to.

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She said: “We were in quite a unique situation in that we saw a drop in referrals for people to use the food bank.

“This was down to the Scottish Government putting a lot of money into providing food and these pop up food banks that people could go to without needing a referral.

“We had a drop in clients using the food bank, but in the last few weeks we have seen an increase. The demographic of our clients is changing.”

A delivery to the foodbank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank)A delivery to the foodbank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank)
A delivery to the foodbank (Pic from Glasgow South East Food bank) | Glasgow South East Food bank

Audrey explained how the demographic of people using the food bank has changed.

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She added: “A few weeks ago it was mainly single people, EU nationals and asylum seekers. From around two weeks ago, we’ve seen more UK nationals coming to use the food bank.

“The expectation is that in the next few weeks and months, we will see a rise in clients because of the Universal Credit uplift.

“In the first quarter of 2020, we had 601 people use the food bank. In the first quarter of 2021, this number dropped to 157.

“This number won’t be all because of the uplift, but I estimate 200 of these people were linked to it.

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“In the next six to eight weeks, we expect to see more people as a result of the removal of the uplift.

“This isn’t just about food poverty, it’s about poverty full stop. There needs to be suitable jobs.

“Most of our client group don’t have the training for these jobs that are available.”

Audrey added that there are some items that the food bank are regularly in need of.

She said: “The items we are most in need with UHT Milk, diluting juice, tins of rice and custard and tinned fish. These are items we always need.”

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