WHITECROOK Food Bank has been given a cash boost to ensure it can continue to provide vital supplies to those in need.

The Centre81 hub has been operating to counteract the increase in poverty and vulnerable individuals due to coronavirus. But the volume of people accessing it has led to concerns it may need to become a permanent fixture.

Clydebank Housing Association have provided a grant of £53,000 to the food bank to go towards hot meal deliveries, food parcels, free meals for children and activity packs. The food bank will now have a permanent space at Centre81.

Gill McCormick, founder of the food bank and owner of Cafe81, told the Post she has seen an intake of around 30 families a day to the service, with many coming twice per week.

The parcels distributed consist of three days worth of food, and some families and elderly have been returning as they continue to face lockdown with little or no income.

Gill said: “I have been surprised by the sheer level of deprivation in the area, especially the amount of elderly coming forward.

“For the short amount of time this food bank has been open I have seen a shockingly high number of people. Whitecrook is clearly an area of high poverty and we also support the surrounding areas, such as Linnvale and Drumry.”

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The food bank has seen many referrals from social services, the Jobcentre and other social care agencies. However, the service has been accepting walk-ins and does not require proof of benefits to support an individual or family.

They also work closely with Faifley food bank to ensure families closer to that service can access it, in a bid to ensure no one in need goes without.

Gill said: “Many people are waiting on universal credit payments after applying for benefits for the first time. Some don’t want to take the advanced payment as you have to pay it back so you end up short of money later anyway.

“Others are on zero hours contracts or are experiencing difficulty feeding a family who are at home for every meal, everyday.

“We also work hard to understand people’s issues as I think food poverty is always a knock on effect from something bigger.

“We can provide food every week, but not actually help an individual to get back on their feet, so we chat to them and refer them to other services.”