Bigger demand on foodbank from families

From left: David Torrance MSP, Stewart English and Jenny Gilruth MSP
From left: David Torrance MSP, Stewart English and Jenny Gilruth MSP

More people are using the foodbank service in Levenmouth, it has been revealed.

And the team behind the lifeline project believes it is families who are most in need of support.

In 2016 so far, the foodbank has helped 1543 people – a rise of over 100 on last year’s figure.

It has already distributed over 1000 packages to Fifers this year, including more than 100 in August.

Last week, two of the town’s MSPs visited the premises to get an update on the demand locally.

Jenny Gilruth and David Torrance saw first-hand the work done by volunteers and heard from organisers about the issues being faced by families they try to help.

Stewart English, Levenmouth Foodbank community support project coordinator, told the Mail that even though the numbers were up, the use of vouchers had not significantly increased, suggesting more families were now using the service.

He explained: “For someone to access food from us, they need to have a voucher from a referring agency.

“They can be for an individual, a couple, or a family so as we see vouchers processed increasing at a slower rate, it suggests that we are seeing more families.”

Over the last 12 months, 44 per cent of the vouchers have come through benefits, 22 per cent homelessness and 15 per cent low income.

Jenny Gilruth, Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, paid tribute to the foodbank team.

She said: “The volunteers do a fantastic amount for the local community and I admire the sheer dedication and commitment they show to helping others.

“It is sad and, I believe, an unacceptable reality in 2016 that there are families in Levenmouth who rely on foodbanks just to survive – often through no fault of their own.”

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, added: “It’s good to see the Levenmouth community banding together to support those in need. The volunteers and the donations from local residents go a long way towards supporting people who are often in very difficult and desperate situations.

“It’s disgraceful that the UK Government’s policies on benefit cuts and sanctions have created such a dependency on foodbanks for so many.”

Both MSPs encouraged constituents to donate to the foodbank which is currently short of coffee, rice, pasta, potatoes, diluting juice, rice pudding and sugar. Donations can be made to Methil Evangelical Church, Bowling Green Street, Methil.