Foodbanks were meant to be a short-term safety net.
Many have had to rewrite their own constitutions which barred anyone from holding office for mnore than a year or two – because they never expected to be needed for such a length of time.
As poverty levels rise, foodbanks are having to re-think their entire structure in order to ensure that they can cope.
What started out as an act of charity – of mercy even – has become something profoundly bigger than anyone could have anticipated.
Run by volunteers with zero government support, foodbanks have become a vital component of the welfare state.
READ MORE Foodbank’s challenge to politicians
Every month the number of referrals rise, and so does the money they need to raise to buy the food to prevent people – our neighbours, relatives, colleagues and friends – from going hungry.
Turning people away empty-handed is unthinkable – but the message from Kirkcaldy Foodbank today is that it cannot continue to operate on such a scale unless things change drastically.
Its open letter to our politicians is a cry for help as well as a challenge.
It has dug deeper, and worked harder, than almost any other organisation to tackle poverty in this town, and yet you can sense the frustration when it notes “very little has changed.”
That isn’t sustainable going forward.
So, the politicians addressed in its open letter need to step up to the plate.
Collectively, and individually, they have been challenged to find a more dignified and structured way of tackling food poverty.
In fact, let’s call it what it really is – hunger.
In 2018, people in Kirkcaldy are going hungry . That ought to shame every single one of us.
Behind the damning statistics are people we know.
We owe it to them to make sure the foodbank’s plea sparks immediate action.