A FOOD bank set up to meet demand from hungry people in East Renfrewshire fed 488 people in just three months.

And the Trussell Trust facility will continue to help people thanks to a generous donation from a local charity.

Cosgrove Care - which is based in Giffock and provides support for adults and children with learning disabilities - donated more than 350kg of food after appealing to staff and volunteers to collect parcels.

The food bank, one of the most recent to be set up by the Trust which has four busy branches in Glas-gow, was launched in September last year at the United Reformed Church in Arthurlie Street, Barrhead.

In the first three months of operation the volunteers gave hand-outs to 306 adults and 182 children.

We told recently that 27,603 meals were given out by just three Trussell Trust food banks in the city in three months.

From October to December 3067 men, women and children were fed at branches in Scotstoun, Calton and Govanhill, which is run by Audrey Flannagan.

Welfare reforms, rising heating and food costs and the added pressure of the festive period are all thought to have forced more people across the country into food poverty.

Cosgrove Care also says that research shows more than 1200 people in East Renfrewshire are seeking work.

This prompted staff to ask all volun-teers, families, supporters and friends to hand food into their Giffnock head office to be delivered to their local branch.

Nicola Walsh, Cosgrove Care's community fund-raising officer, said: "Through my work with Cosgrove Care, I am constantly asking local people to support us and I am always amazed at how generous they are.

"When we heard about the East Renfrewshire food bank opening we knew that we could help to raise aware-ness of an ever increasing issue which is affecting local families.

"We also knew that we could help to make it easier for people to make donations at this busy time of year by taking the leg work out of delivering the donations to the food bank."

She added: "I am overwhelmed at the response we have had and by how generous people have been.

"We took along 352kgs of food to the food bank - this is enough to feed 35 single people for three days or 24 ­couples for the same time."

Cosgrove Care has promised to carry out regular food collections for the East Renfrewshire food bank and say these will be publicised on their website.

linzi.watson@ eveningtimes.co.uk