Food bank is expanding as hunger bites

PEOPLE visiting a north Glasgow food bank are so desperate they are pulling off lids and eating with their fingers in the centre.

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Julie Webster of Maryhill Food Bank is determined not to let people go hungry, and daughter Naomi, 8, and her friend Sophie Kelly, 10, are keen to lend a helping hand                      Picture: Kirsty Anderson
Julie Webster of Maryhill Food Bank is determined not to let people go hungry, and daughter Naomi, 8, and her friend Sophie Kelly, 10, are keen to lend a helping hand Picture: Kirsty Anderson

But organisers of the Maryhill Food Bank are determined not to let people go hungry.

They are feeding around 140 people each week - last week they fed 49 children in less than two hours. Co-founder Julie Webster said: "I have worked in social work for 20 years, so I am pretty hardened but we had a family come in on a Tuesday at 3pm having not eaten since the ­previous Friday.

"There had been a problem with benefits and because it was a Bank Holiday weekend the mum had no money for food for her or her two children.

"I watched the mum pick up and put down can after can, wondering what she doing, before I realised she was looking for one with a ring pull.

"She ripped the top off and starting eating the beans with her hands, she was so hungry. At that point I had to go to the toilets and have a cry."

Julie set up the food bank 18 months ago with Deacon Jim Hamilton of Maryhill Parish Church.

It is based on a supermarket model where people are allowed to choose their own shopping from shelves of food.

The service now covers one third of the north of Glasgow with people walking from as far as Shettleston and Barlornock for aid.

Now the group is set to expand its services, thanks to a £5000 funding boost from the Celtic FC Foundation.

Celtic, along with Rangers, Partick Thistle, Glasgow Tigers, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow Housing Association are all backing the Evening Times food bank campaign to raise awareness and improve access to life-line services.

The groups and organisations are united in their bid to make sure people in Glasgow don't go hungry.

Currently Maryhill Food Bank moves to ­different areas of the community but can now afford rent on a head ­office and storage centre.

Julie added: "We can't thank the Celtic FC Foundation enough for its help. This means our rent is paid for one year.

"People need our help - they are unable to support themselves and unable to buy food."

Tony Hamilton, CEO Celtic FC Foundation, said: "The board of Trustees made a decision to support Maryhill Foodbank in addition to the significant support we had given the Trussell Trust.

"I know the people at Maryhill provide an invaluable service to local residents across the north of Glasgow and it is important that when we can help and add value, we do so."

Food and drink

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