A GLASGOW charity has tripled its food distribution by serving 5 million meals to people in need during lockdown.

FareShare Glasgow and the West of Scotland has distributed a record 2100 tonnes of food to vulnerable people since lockdown restrictions started last March.

The organisation, which is run by homelessness prevention charity Move On, take surplus food from across the food and drink industry and redistribute it to organisations that support the most vulnerable, including children, the homeless, refugees and elderly people.

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As record numbers of Scots are forced to turn to emergency food provision during the pandemic, the charity estimates that as many as 78,000 people access food distributed from its Glasgow warehouse every week.

Director of Operations, Jim Burns, said: “It’s a new year but sadly many people are in the same difficult position and really struggling. Continued job losses and school closures are all likely to further increase the need for emergency food provision in 2021. We have been running FareShare Glasgow and the West of Scotland for over 10 years now and this is the highest demand I have ever seen. We distributed 1.7 million meal portions in the same period last year, so to see that number rise to 5 million really is staggering.

“We distribute food to a massive network across 13 local authorities in Scotland, linking up with hundreds of organisations in Glasgow and the West of Scotland that are supporting people in their local communities. As well as food parcels, much of our food is turned into hot meals to be delivered to those in need.”

One member of the network is DRC Youth Project, a charity supporting socially excluded young people in in Yoker.

The charity has recently launched a community food pantry for local families in partnership with FareShare.

Project Manager, Arthur McNeaney, said: “It started off as a food bank at our office and quickly progressed to the disused butchers shop on Dumbarton Road and from there it’s just grown arms and legs with FareShare’s help.

“We were aware that there was food poverty in the area but the in-work poverty was one of the biggest surprises of the pandemic. We’re seeing people from all walks of life come in to use the service.

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“We can see the benefits on the streets as well because people now have that wee bit of extra cash to help their kids at school or to put credit in their phone or whatever wee luxury gets them through the week, especially when we’re in such a serious position at the minute.”

FareShare is the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity. They were born out of the belief that no good food should go to waste, especially when people are going hungry. To find out more or to donate to the cause visit https://fareshare.org.uk/fareshare-centres/glasgow-west-of-scotland/, email fsglasgowwestscotland@fareshare.org.uk or call 0141 958 1133.