Glasgow foodbank sees ‘very sharp increase’ in families with young kids needing help

7th September, 2021 11:49 am

A GLASGOW foodbank that helps to feed thousands of people every week has witnessed a “sharp increase” among service users with young families.

Directors at Pollok’s Gowanbank Hub have told how they have seen a sudden 5% spike in those struggling with young children coming to them for help.

And according to the organisation’s figures, volunteers are expecting the looming cut to Universal Credit to impact around 3500 children in the city.

Billy Coull, who is the co-director at the facility, said: “The Gowanbank Bub crisis support service has seen an increase in service users with young families from across South West Glasgow.

“This is a very sharp increase by around 5% over the last few weeks from our service alone.

“We are currently dealing with families with children as a matter of priority within our origination.”

The £20 weekly blow to Universal Credit is expected to hit more than half of families living across three Glasgow constituencies at the same time as furlough ends and energy prices rise.

Of the areas to suffer, 63% of families in Glasgow Central, 55% of families in the South West and 54% of families in the North East will take a hit from the move.

With pressure mounting at the facility, volunteers are making preparations to support people across the South West who will be adversely affected.

Billy added: “We will be making preparations to support people who will suffer from these upcoming benefit cuts in October.

“We estimate that this figure is going to be in the region of 3500 youngsters.

“As a crisis support service, we will work closely with other orgisations throughout Glasgow to support our most vulnerable families.

“We are calling for the people of Glasgow to support our organisation and to pledge what they can to ensure that we are able to provide the right support to the vulnerable people and families we work with.”

Volunteers from Homeless Project Scotland were left “heartbroken” after two schoolkids attended their emergency provision on Tuesday evening.

Chairman of the charity, Colin McInnes, said: “They were excited and extremely grateful to receive their meals. You could tell they were hungry.

“They were skipping and saying, ‘oh my goodness, look at all of this food.’

“They couldn’t take the tickets from my hands fast enough. I’m a 6’2 grown man and it hit me hard – I had to take a minute away because I couldn’t watch children collect food on the streets of Glasgow.

“It left us heartbroken.”

Those who wish to make a food donation to Gowanbank Hub can do so by dropping off goods at the facility at 415A-415B Peat Road, G53 6SG.

Otherwise, cash donations can be made on an online fundraiser at gofundme.com/f/Thegowanbankhub

Source: Glasgow Times, September 2021

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