Energy crisis: Kirkcaldy Foodbank warns it may struggle to feed disadvantaged families
Kirkcaldy Foodbank has voiced fears it may struggle to feed families in the town with more locals needing to use the facility this winter as the global gas crisis begins to bite.
There are also worries that families could be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter as fuel bills spiral and a Universal Credit top-up is set to be cut.
The UK Government’s furlough scheme is also set to end this Thursday, which, many believe, could see a lot of people being made redundant.
Joyce Leggate, chairman of Kirkcaldy Foodbank, said she is worried about the impact all of these factors could have on families in the town, many of whom might already be struggling.
She said: “We are very concerned about the potential impact of the rise in energy prices and the cut to Universal Credit on Kirkcaldy Foodbank as it will impact significantly on the households we support.
“The combination of increased costs, reduced income and the winter will have an adverse impact on many local households.
“The stark choice many could face is having to choose between eating and heating their homes – this is certainly the experience some individuals have had in the past. Most probably we are looking at a bleak winter with the cut to Universal Credit, energy price increases and potential food shortages.”
Joyce said many locals have voiced their fears to foodbank volunteers: “Many are concerned and we are encouraging them to speak to welfare support workers and CARF to enable them to maximise their income.”
Asked if she expects more people to end up using Kirkcaldy Foodbank this year compared with last winter she said: “ This concerns us greatly. We are a voluntary organisation run by volunteers and relying on donations from the public.
"We are not government funded (apart from some funding during lockdown last year) and people may have to realise that we might not be able to fill the gaps that these changes may bring.”
She added: “We distribute around 1200 parcels each month at present and an increase may not be sustainable with the resources we have.”