Food bank went from serving 57 families in February to 458 in August

·4-min read
Food bank serve 458 families in August compared to 57 in February
Food bank serve 458 families in August compared to 57 in February

A food bank is struggling to keep up with a surge in demand for its services.

Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels went from serving 57 families in February to 458 in August.

The charity revealed the devastating figures to the Glasgow Times, stating it "never saw this coming in a million years”.

It is now desperate for help with only half the packages they sent out last month coming from donations.

Boss Maureen Cummings, 55, also confirmed that many families they help are working but still struggle to get by.

It comes as a cost-of-living crisis has plunged the country into the worst economic crisis since the 1970s.

With household bills set to skyrocket even further from October after Ofgem raised the energy price cap by 80%, the West Dunbartonshire food bank fears the numbers will continue to spike as the colder months come in.

Glasgow Times: Sourced
Glasgow Times: Sourced

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Maureen said: “I couldn’t have predicted these high figures coming to us for help, never in a million years did I think this would be happening.

“There are so many working families that have been coming in so upset because they never imagined they would be in this situation.

“We are worried things will just get worse with this cost-of-living crisis but will continue to help anyone who needs us.

“We are seeing a lot of carers and some taxi drivers who need help. Their wages just don’t stretch to the end of the month.

“Beauticians and young mums are needing support also because people can’t afford treatments when they have these huge bills to pay which cuts their hours.

“People are having to put their pride aside with the current costs and just ask for help. Iit can be so hard for them and we want to make it easier.”

Glasgow Times: Sourced
Glasgow Times: Sourced

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Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels was set up by Maureen and her husband in 2020 during lockdown as she and Gordon, 56, wanted to help their community.

They began delivering prescriptions but noticed there was also a need for food and grew their mission.

Now the pair have fed more than 14,000 people and are desperate to keep helping those in need.

This year saw them provide for 61 households in January, 57 in February, 107 in March, 283 in April, 364 in May, 384 in June, 229 in July, and 458 in August.

Glasgow Times: Sourced
Glasgow Times: Sourced

Sourced

They also fed 301 pets in August as people were willing to spend “their last penny” on their animals.

It is believed that summer saw a slight dip as the cost-of-living payment was given out in July.

Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels is now preparing to help more people than ever as well as breaking down the stigma around using a food bank.

There's no criteria that users must meet before being helped as its “open door policy” is available to anyone who asks.

It also doesn't use a queue system for parcels but has instead created a cafe area where people can have a free sandwich and cup of tea while they wait.

Maureen explained: “It takes someone quite a bit of courage to walk through the door and say they are desperate for help.

“They feel embarrassed, but we try to put them at ease and show them our cafe where they can sit with a free lunch and talk about their situation.

“It is better than having a queue because it makes people less intimidated and is more dignified.

“We have very open door policy, we don't have any criteria at all as we help anyone who comes in no matter their situation.

“I think a lot of people are struggling and don’t have the confidence to ask for help. They see it as a terrible thing, but they aren’t doing anything wrong.

“Everyone needs help at some point in life so let us break that stigma down and come see us if you need support.”

The food bank is looking for donations - including men's toiletries, dinners, desserts, pet food, and money.

You can donate through its Amazon wish list by clicking here or visit the hub at Unit 5, Industrial Estate, 5 Station Road, Old Kilpatrick, Glasgow, G60 5LP.

You can also contact Maureen for help on 07368494836