The extent of deepening poverty in the Three Towns is being reflected by the increasing number of locals turning to the North Ayrshire Foodbank to stave-off hunger.
The foodbank, based at the Church of the Nazerene in Ardrossan’s Glasgow Street, provides sufficient food for three-days to people identified by frontline care professionals as being in crisis. The non-perishable, in-date food is normally donated by individuals, local organisations and businesses. People given a ‘food voucher’ by their doctor, health visitor, social worker, Citizens Advice Bureau representative or the police can then collect desperately-needed food from the Ardrossan facility.
Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne recently announced the UK Government will implement a further £3bn of cuts to already-slashed Welfare budgets, which will inevitably impact further on the poorest members of society. Mr Osborne indicated the cuts were necessary to deal with the national deficit, which was largely created by UK governments using public funds to bail-out private banks and financial speculators in the City of London.
Recently, the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party Welfare Reform Committee carried out an investigation into UK Government welfare reforms and foodbank usage. The committee found there had been a 400% rise in the use of foodbanks in Scotland over the past 12 months. One of the conclusions in a subsequent report published by the committee stated that “people are struggling to meet their basic need for food” due to the “direct action” of the UK Tory-Lib Dem Government.
The Scottish Parliament also calculated that the UK Chancellor’s further cuts to Welfare budgets will affect around 900,000 Scottish households, including many where at least one adult is in work but low-pay means they have inadequate income to survive.
The Ardrossan-based foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, always needs donations of food to meet the demand of local people plunged into crisis. Non-perishable, in-date food can be dropped-off at the foodbank between 11.00am and 1.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There are also permanent ‘donation trolleys’ at the Asda supermarket in Ardrossan and Sainsbury’s in Saltcoats.
The local foodbank can be contacted on 07411 113126 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org