Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Starving children have asked for school holiday meals from food bank

ALMOST 90 kids turned up at Glasgow food bank because parents were unable to provide meals for them.

HUNGRY children have been given emergency food packages during the school summer holidays, it was revealed yesterday. Nearly 90 youngsters on free school meals turned up at Glasgow’s Greater Maryhill Food Bank over a seven-day window at the start of August. And food bank co-ordinator Julie Webster, 38, confirmed the unit had seen a spike in the number of people asking for help over the holiday period.

She said: “The schools are off and the only nutritional meal some children get is a free meal at school. We’ve had families come in and say they can’t provide lunch for their children. It’s heartbreaking. It was a big shock for me. It’s hardest when you see the children – they are the future generation. It must be one of the hardest things in life to come into a food bank and ask for help but I’m dragging people in off the street.”

The scale of food poverty was revealed as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Maryhill to kickstart a £518,000 Emergency Food Fund. Research by the Trussell Trust revealed the number of people using food banks in Scotland has soared by 400 per cent over the past 12 months.

In that period, 71,428 people were handed emergency parcels – including more than 22,000 children.

The Scottish Government’s EEF initiative will split a pot of cash to projects which dish out aid across 17 local authority areas. Sturgeon said: “There’s a direct correlation between the increase in demand for food banks and the welfare cuts Westminster are introducing. As a Scottish Government, we want to mitigate the impact of these cuts.