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Huge demand for food banks

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
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Huge demand for food banks

DEMAND for foodbanks in Dumfries and Galloway has surged – and is only expected to get worse as the cost of living crisis intensifies.

The Trussell Trust, which operates Dumfries Foodbank with Apex Scotland at Friars Vennel, this week revealed that it dished out 2918 food parcels locally in 2021/22, 718 of which were for children.

This total is 244 higher than the previous year – and an eight per cent rise in families and individuals struggling to put food on the table.

The news comes after The First Base Agency – the region’s longest-serving foodbank – reported a “spectacular surge in demand” during the pandemic.

First Base now hands out around 4000 food parcels every year, meanwhile The Lambros Charalambous Philanthropic Initiative opened another foodbank earlier this year in the Cathedral Church of Our Lady and Saint Ninian.

Polly Jones, head of Scotland at the Trussell Trust, said: “We should all be free from hunger. No one should be pushed deeper into poverty without enough money for the things we all need.

“And yet people are telling us they’re skipping meals to feed their children and turning off the heating so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework.

“This isn’t right – and foodbanks in our network are telling us this is only set to get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship. No one’s income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry.”

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