Community feeds the community at food bank

David Shaw (right), with trustee Brian McArthur, says demand is increasing for their service.
David Shaw (right), with trustee Brian McArthur, says demand is increasing for their service.

A Motherwell charity which helps the most desperate in society says it sees no evidence that the recession is easing.

Basics Food Bank (Lanarkshire), which operates out of the Maranatha Centre, gives out tonnes of food every month to people unable to even feed themselves.

Last week Finance Secretary John Swinney said Scotland’s economic health was improving, but food bank manager David Shaw, who also helps run the service in Wishaw and Airdrie, says that is not the evidence they are finding.

He said: “The need for our service has increased drastically to the point we are now giving out two tonnes of food a month in the three food banks we have.

“Last year we gave out 14 tonnes of food in total, the year before that was six tonnes so it has more doubled, and have been told to expect a further increase in the year to come.

“Month on month we’ve always had enough stuff coming in to cover what’s going out, but with the increase we’re anticipating there is always the challenge to have donators handing stuff in on a regular basis.

“We really want to put the message out that the food bank is here, I know there is a stigma to using one, but people shouldn’t have that.

“The majority of people we help are due to benefits sanctions, but we are starting to see more people who are working, but financially crippled as the cost of living rises.

“Everyone has to be referred through a statutory agency, no one can just walk in and say they need food, that might be the case, but clearly there is an underlying problem and we want them to engage with the agencies that are out there.

“This is just a crisis point, it’s not a long term solution!”