Foodbank in crisis

The shelves will soon be depleted as foodbank warns of a looming crisis  ahead if nothing is done now
The shelves will soon be depleted as foodbank warns of a looming crisis ahead if nothing is done now

The Kilsyth Community Foodbank, an independent organisation has had its main supplier of food pull out meaning it will be unable to continue providing a local service.

The Tesco supermarket in Craigmarloch was the main source of the foodbank’s supplies, but following a head office decision, all donations stopped last week.

Volunteers at Kilsyth were horrified to learn of the decision that only Trussel Trust (TT) foodbanks will now be supplied with food.

Local coordinator Lesley Murray told the Chronicle: “The Trussell Trust is a money-making concern. It charges £1500 to join and then a further £360 annually to remain a member. That amount of money can be put to far better use here in Kilsyth providing vital food supplies to those who are in dire need at times.

“We estimate that we would have to close our doors in weeks if no resolve to this problem can be found.”

Now, with less than two weeks’ notice, Ms Murray has nowhere left to turn to for the collection of essentials for Kilsyth people.

“We’re a long way from Tesco’s head office but their decision is devastating for people in crisis in the wee town of Kilsyth. For the past couple of years, we’ve relied on local donations at Tesco Craigmarloch for Christmas, all donated for local people. I’m especially worried at this time of year when people have other one-off expenses to meet.”

KCFB’s concerns are echoed by Louise Duncan, head teacher of Kilsyth Primary School. “The news that the foodbank will no longer be in receipt of food from Tesco is heart breaking for the school community. We know that there are families who rely on this services .”

Jamie Hepburn, MSP says he will be writing to Tesco regarding the issue.

“I hope that the local businesses that have been supporting the local foodbank will continue to do so, and I’ll be backing them in their efforts to secure that support.”

In the last year, KCFB has provided more than 600 food parcels to families in Kilsyth and surrounding area.

The Tesco Store manager declined to comment and Tesco stores did not respond to calls for a comment.

The Chronicle spoke to Fareshare which partners with the Trussell Trust and they advised that it is likely there had been crossed wires at a local level.

The TT and Fareshare will be holding a three-day collection between Nov 29 and December 1 which will be donated to Fareshare Scotland, but there is no reason why the local arrangement cannot continue with the Kilsyth Community Foodbank.

A spokesperson for the Trussell Trust said: “The Trussell Trust is a charity and we do not make a profit out of foodbanks in our network.

“Foodbanks who would like to be members of our network give a one-off £1500 contribution at the start and then £360 each consecutive year – this helps towards the costs of delivering services and support to foodbanks.”