FRONTLINE workers battling with the cost of living and a hike in energy bills are among those using a crisis centre which has run out of food for the second time in just five months.

A nurse, lollipop men, taxi drivers and bin lorry drivers have been relying on the Gowanbank Hub for food as they struggle to make ends meet. 

Pressure is mounting at the Pollok facility, with requests for emergency parcels “through the roof”. 

Worried directors warn that more goods are going out to those in need than what is coming through the door. 

They argue that the cost of a living crisis and a hike in energy prices is resulting in locals to plummet below the breadline. 

Glasgow Times:

Those struggling to make ends meet have been turning to the hub for help and now the facility is “scraping the barrel”.

A single mum of three started using the foodbank three months ago after a shock cancer diagnosis. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances to her finances, she was left to choose between heating or eating. 

The mum, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “One day, it suddenly just boiled down to either having my gas and electricity meter topped up or feeding my kids.

“Someone I knew was volunteering here and he managed to help me out – I was nearly crying. They helped me with my gas and electricity and they gave me food, it meant I could feed my weans that night and keep them warm.

“I thought to myself often, how am I going to live? There has been a good few times where it has come down to either eating – and I have got three children – or heating.

“If it wasn’t for the hub being here I wouldn’t have known how to live.”

Glasgow Times:

The 51-year-old says her struggles began when energy suppliers hiked their prices in October – the same time the £20 weekly uplift was cut from Universal Credit. 

“Inflation has gone up but wages and benefit money hasn’t gone up to help people stay on their feet”, she said. 

“If the hub wasn’t here, my weans wouldn’t have eaten, I wouldn’t have had them sit in the cold with no electricity. That’s the way the hub has helped me in the last few months.

“If people can make donations, even if it is whatever that have spare in their cupboards, it could really help somebody who is in a position like me and struggling to get by day by day.”

Demand at the provision is so high that volunteers prepare food parcels in advance because of how quick they are “flying out the door”. 

Glasgow Times: DirectorsDirectors

Dawn Peart, a co-founder, said: “It shows that the demand is there and it is only increasing. We need foodbanks now more than ever.

“It’s hard to keep up with supply and demand – we’re constantly trying to get protein-based products in alongside nappies, body wash and so on.

Sometimes, we can be fully stocked in one thing but completely out of another.

“Right now, we’ll be happy if we have enough stock to last us until today. It’s flying out the door, we’re really scraping the barrel.”
Organisers say that they have noticed a spike in the number of working people who are struggling to put food on the table.  

Dawn said: “There is a lot of ignorance from the public towards people that come to us for help – it isn’t just people on benefits, it’s people who are working full time, too.

“People who are working are struggling and we’re seeing a massive increase in it. We’ve had taxi drivers, bin lorry drivers, lollipop men and even a nurse come to us. She’s a frontline worker saving lives and she is coming to us for help.

“We’ve had teenagers, pensioners, people in their mid-20s, we help so many people. It isn’t just those who are claiming benefits.”

Glasgow Times:

The desperate situation has led the founders and directors to issue an urgent plea to all Glaswegians for emergency food donations. 

Billy Coull, co-director, said: “I plea to the goodwill of the people across our great city. 

“If you are a millionaire, a business person or your average Joe, if you care, please donate what you can to enable us to offer vital help and support families in immediate crisis. 

“You have heard one story from one of our service users, imagine how many other stories there are out there.”

Dawn added: “If you’ve got a spare tin of meat or anything that you’re not going to eat please think of us, it could really help somebody get by.”

In August, we told how the provision was left with nothing but dried pasta, beans, rice and jars of sauce. In the last month alone, the support service – which also offers clothes and financial advice – has provided support to more than 1000 individuals across 327 families. 

Of this figure, 59 percent were children. 

Those who wish to make a food donation 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