After ten years, Clydesdale Foodbank needs support more than ever
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Sadly, the need for its services has grown exponentially in the years since – in 2013, 234 referrals were made in the first ten months; last year, there were more than 3000 referrals.
With the cost of living crisis and winter just round the corner, the foodbank’s finances and donations have also been impacted.
Liz Barthram, foodbank manager and trustee, said: “We’re already sitting at 2200 referrals this year which come from a range of agencies – social work, Money Matters, Citizens Advice, Women’s Aid, ex-forces charities, the clergy and schools.
“By the end of last month, our referral rate was up by seven per cent for 15 per cent more people. That tells us we’re getting a much higher rate of families with children being referred.
“It’s a very sad state of affairs that the demand for the foodbank keeps on growing, fuelled just now too by the cost of living crisis.
“That in turn has had an impact on our finances; we started the year, thanks to a number of significant grants, with a healthy bank balance.
“However, with donations down as people can’t afford to make the same number of donations, our expenses are between £7000 and £10,000 a month at the moment – just to make sure we can help everyone who is referred to us.
“The bulk of our income currently is coming from people who have taken out standing orders to help the foodbank or donate via our kind button on the website.
“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who does support us – from the 40 volunteers who lend a hand with donations and driving to those who donate funds and products.
“However, as things stand, it’s not sustainable in the long term and I’m very apprehensive about this coming winter when referrals always increase.”
In a bid to stock up, Clydesdale Foodbank will be doing a winter food drive at Tesco stores in Lanark and Carluke from November 30 to December 2.
With two hours shifts of two volunteers over the three days at the two stores, Liz needs 18 volunteers to man the collections.
She said: “We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who can spare two hours for this winter collection, which will help bolster our stock in time for Christmas.
“We’d also love to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer regularly. While we have 40 volunteers, that ebbs and flows as people have other commitments.
“We have many different roles and opportunities and we’re happy to work around people’s schedules.”
With the busiest period of the year coming up, donations of both cash and goods will also be warmly welcomed.
To volunteer at the food drive or more regularly, email [email protected]. And, if you can, please donate generously to the foodbank in Carluke and Lanark Tesco stores from November 30 to December 2.