Clydesdale’s Food Bank was busier than ever during December as more people were in need of help.
“There were over 70 referrals in December, which is considerably up on the previous year,” said Liz Barthram who chairs the charity.
“And over the year, for the full 12 months, we would be a good 10 per cent up on the previous year.”
The main reason people were seeking help was because they had lost their jobs and there was a delay in getting benefit payments.
“They have to wait a considerable time before they get any benefit at all,” said Liz.
There was also an increase in the number of people being referred back to the food bank months after the original referral, still in what Liz described as the “poverty trap”.
The Clydesdale Food Bank was set up by the Carluke Churches, and now has premises in the High Street, which is encouraging people to hand in donations of food. Tinned and dried food goes into the parcels, but the charity then provides fresh food on top of that.
Meanwhile, churches and other groups have been generous with their support.
“The donations have been amazing,” said Liz.
“The past few months have been absolutely terrific. Through December there were big collections of food, and also of money.”
Fundraisers included two young boys in Lanark celebrating their 6th birthday.
“They asked their friends not to buy them toys and gifts but to give donations to the food bank, and they raised £120,” said Liz.
And a woman held a Food Bank Party, which brought in over 80 bags of food and £300, while three volunteers raised £1,400 in a raffle. Altogether, cash donations in December amounted to £3,000.
Referrals come from a number of agencies such as social work, Money Matters and the CAB.
“It is getting busier and busier,” said Liz. “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supports us.”