Local MP Drew Hendry assisted at a foodbank donation stall set up outside the Courthouse yesterday morning. A large quantity of food was collected along with £370 donated by those who visited the stall between 10 am and midday. The food and the cash were later taken to the local Blythswood shop in Leopold Street. More images here.
Blythswood administer the Highland Foodbank and you can find information about how you can help on their website here.
Councillor Liz MacDonald was also present and she spoke for a few moments at the end of the two hour collection about the increasing numbers who are going to the foodbank for help throughout the Highlands. She also outlined her worries about how further changes to welfare could impact on Highland residents. She thanked those party members that had organised the stall and also praised the ongoing work by foodbank volunteers across the Highlands to meet the sadly growing demand.
Earlier this week the Gurn reported on figures that Highland Council had published recently in an agenda document. Here they are again, they illustrate the gravity of the situation in the Highlands:
""Local figures show that, in the first 8 months (Jan-Aug) of 2015, 3,652 people, including 1,097 children have been provided with three day’s emergency food by Trussell Trust food banks in the Highlands. The number of people referred during the 12 month period in 2013 was 4,056 (inc 1,103 children) and in 2014 was 5,254 (inc 1,340 children); an increase of 30% in demand."
The report also states:
"The Scottish Welfare Fund, administered by the Council, also provides assistance to applicants for food when awarding Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants. Since the implementation of the fund on 1st April 2013, £335,860 has been award specifically for food:
• 01/04/2013 – 31/12/2013: £47,156
• 01/01/2014 – 31/12/2014: £174,202
• 01/01/2015 – 30/09/2015: £114,502"