A project which has been hailed as ‘lifesaving and transformative’ is struggling to keep its doors open as food and fuel bills soar.  

The North Glasgow Community Food Initiative (NGCFI), which helps locals in Springburn, Milton and Royston, candidly opened up to the Glasgow Times about the impact of the cost of living on the initiative’s purse. 

Glasgow Times:

Leila Eddakille, project manager at NGCFI admitted that with money being so tight, thoughts of a potential closure have left her feeling scared.  

She said: “We’re really feeling the impact of cost-of-living. 

“Money is so tight and it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep our doors open as the cost of food and fuel are skyrocketing. 

“We have also found that the venue hire is increasing too, so with rent going up, that has a knock-on effect.

“This is an important project; it is lifesaving and transformative. 

“It’s scary to think if we had to close. Our work ranges from food security, poverty and mental health so if we shut – it would have a detrimental effect.” 

Glasgow Times:

Established established back in 2001, the primary purpose of NGCFI was to address issues relating to food poverty and insecurity, as well as the challenges that come with that – such as social isolation and trauma.

Through their cookery courses, community fridges and pantries, the project has made a key difference to locals over the last two decades. 

Leila said: “With cost-of-living and COVID, people have been left in really challenging financial positions and extreme food poverty. 

“That’s where we step in and provide food and meals (add comma) and it means people can save money and don’t have to choose between heating and eating – which is one of the big things that we see.”

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However, the project has not stopped there when it comes to helping locals with food. 

Once a week, NGCIF hosts a free community meal for any locals to attend, ensuring that they get a hot and nutritious meal. 

Leila added: “The community meal is really positive. It gives people a reason to come out and connect with others, which is all about helping their mental health and well-being.

“With the increase in energy costs, a hot meal is hugely helpful as it means people don’t need to worry about paying to cook and we can help provide a meal to the homeless too.” 

Glasgow Times:

The project also tackles holiday hunger by providing free activities like cinema nights and day trips, as well as meals over school vacations and also helps locals make items like bird boxes from recycled material and educates them on the environment and how to grow their own food.

The initiative became volunteer-led in 2021, so without them Leila stressed, the vital work would not see the light of day. 

Glasgow Times:

In a bid to keep the service’s important work going, the project has launched a fundraiser - which has already received over £2k. 

Leila said: “It is amazing seeing the level of community support that we have behind us. 

“Any aspect of help that allows us to continue to deliver the project is just great a great sense of community power.

“The support is amazing and just gives us hope and validation that we are on the right path here.” 

If you want to support the fundraiser, you can click HERE

You can find out more information about the NGCFI HERE