By Scott McCarthy, minister of Garthamlock and Craigend Parish Church of Scotland, Glasgow
AT THE beginning of lockdown we quickly recognised that our own parish was being covered by two Easterhouse-based food charities.
More than 1,300 people in Garthamlock and Craigend were living in poverty before COVID-19 struck and we, as a community, were already heavily involved in supporting people with food shortage issues.
We looked around to see who we could help and, for the last four months, I’ve been making deliveries for the Springburn Church Food Hub.
They’re based in the Church of Scotland building in Springburn in north Glasgow.
Like the parish where I live and work, it is an area ‘where deprivation rates fall within the bottom five per cent across all the social and economic indicators’.
Or, to put it more simply, our communities are among the very poorest in Scotland.
The pandemic has not only put an additional burden on those already in poverty but also brought people into the poverty trap, some for the first time.
Commonly, families have to make the choice between feeding themselves or paying a utility bill.
It’s often not understood that, because of low earnings, there are more people in work and claiming benefit than those who claim and are out of work.
The impact of lockdown restrictions on the economy has meant that many, who were previously unable to cope on meagre wages, are now even worse off because those wages have ceased.
Since March, the food hub has helped more than 3,000 households. Sadly, all the signs are that demand for our services will increase.
We’re supplying essential toiletries and toys as well as food. Our local supermarket, Morrisons in Easterhouse, has been giving us food once a week but we need all the financial donations we can get.
If you’d like to make a donation, please send it to me at 9 Craigievar Court, Garthamlock, Glasgow G33 5DJ.
If you’d like to make a donation online, the food hub’s bank details are Springburn Parish Church, sort code 82-64-29, account number 50013565.