Here is an introduction to our project.
The Glasgow NW Foodbank is facilitated by Blawarthill Church. It was launched in May 2013 and is part of the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network. While Glasgow is a modern, vibrant city with many attractions, it has inherited a legacy of poverty and social deprivation from its industrial past. Our centres are situated among the most economically deprived areas of Scotland according to Government census statistics.
We employ a Project Manager, who is aided by over twenty regular volunteers. The Foodbank relies on donations of food and money from members of the public. Last year (2020) the Foodbank distributed 8,728 food parcels, compared with 10,205 in 2019, the slight decrease being due to emergency food distribution schemes during the Covid-19 pandemic. The continued arrival of refugees and asylum seekers who were given accommodation in NW Glasgow, together with continuing challenges in the economy and ongoing delays for some in accessing the benefit system following the introduction of Universal Credit accounted for continuing, steady demand for our services. With each parcel made up to cover three days and three meals per day, the total number of meals provided in 2020 was 78,552. From an agreement between Tesco and the Trussell Trust, the Foodbank receives a 20% top-up. In all, a record 99.2 tonnes of products were donated by various donors – these include churches, community centres, nurseries, schools, companies, hotels & pubs, clubs, NHS staff, banks, football fans and many individuals.
Foodbank users redeemed 4234 vouchers issued by our referral partners, (2019 – 4826). We worked with 39 active referral agencies in 2020. This shows how Glasgow NW is regarded as a dependable partner with an ability to give immediate help to individuals and families in food poverty. Referrers are drawn from a variety of sectors including housing associations, charities, churches, community groups, statutory and voluntary agencies.
As well as the main administration and distribution centre at Blawarthill, which is open to clients Tuesdays and Fridays from 12 noon to 2.00 p.m., we have a satellite distribution centre in the Maryhill district, at Ruchill Kelvinside Parish Church (open Thursdays). We speak to all our clients in order to get to know their personal situation, including finding out the main reason that they have been referred to the Foodbank. This helps us to signpost clients to other support services that will assist them to escape the poverty trap, and to alert official agencies to the reasons why people need to use food banks.