A SERIES of community run food co-ops aim to help people cope with the rising cost of living.
People in South Lanarkshire are to benefit from the food co-ops, which will offer fresh food at affordable and reasonable prices.
The day after we revealed that 4,000 children in Glasgow relied on food banks to eat, the deputy Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Jackie Burns, met with the team behind a project, called Making Ends Meet, at the already established Hillhouse Food Co-op.
The report from the Trussell Trust also revealed 415 children in South Lanarkshire also needing assistance from food banks.
Councillor Burns said: "It was great to meet the team and find out about the food co-ops and the plan to expand them throughout South Lanarkshire.
"Food co-ops differ from food banks in that there is a charge for the goods sold, but it is still much more affordable than you would pay in the supermarket or on the high street.
"The great thing about them is that they are run by the community, for the community. The one in Hillhouse is already enjoying tremendous success and I am sure they will be just as popular elsewhere in South Lanarkshire."
The project was initially funded by the Financial Inclusion Network to develop a food co-op in the Hillhouse area.
Funding has since been secured from the Big Lottery for a further 15 months work in South Lanarkshire and there are two Food Poverty Project Workers, Andy McCann and Jim Lee.
They have been tasked with setting up a further seven food co-ops in South Lanarkshire and developing six Breakfast Clubs.
The new co-ops will be developed over the next 15 months in Hamilton, Blantyre, Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Larkhall, Carluke and East Kilbride.
Andy said: "The purpose of the co-ops are to supply the community with access to fresh and affordable produce to help make their pound stretch further. They are a community shop and are very volunteer-led.
"The Hillhouse Co-op has been running for four months now at Hillhouse and Earnock Community Centre and has 11 volunteers working two hours shifts.
"It is open from noon to 7pm every Tuesday and the whole community is welcome to shop at the food co-op."
If you would like to volunteer at any of the co-ops or would like more information, call 01698 827 583.