Food Bank Struggle

by James McLean

As a community North Ayrshire has had it’s fair share of difficulty over the years. Our wee patch of Scotland, famed for things like delicious tatties and hardworking dairy cows, is still somehow constantly topping lists of worst in Scotland for poverty. This won’t be a startling realisation for anyone that has had to grow up in one of the many schemes in the area.

For a place that was once filled with industry; North Ayrshire suffers from a lack of employment opportunities, an ineffective welfare system and poor wages for many of those that do find employment for themselves. In 2017 it was recorded that almost a quarter of households in North Ayrshire were workless and we are second only to Glasgow in terms of children living in poverty.

All of these things and more have resulted in an increasing number of struggling people turning to help from the local food banks. The North Ayrshire food bank has been open for 6 years now and has been invaluable in ensuring that the generosity of people donating food is sorted and applied effectively to those that need help in the community. Last year alone the food bank handed out 5124 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis and is looking to continue to help those in need going forward. This means that a steady supply of donations is required to keep up with demand.

After a seemingly bountiful December the food bank took to social media on the 2nd of May with an urgent appeal. “Donations urgently required. We are now unable to fulfil our orders for food parcels and we are turning people away.” There has since been a number of donations from various businesses and locals but how long until the next shortage?

In a community as troubled as ours we shouldn’t fall into apathy. In a modern society everyone should have access to food to feed themselves and their families. As we seem to be consistently ruled by a government that cares little for the poorest in our country and are constantly surrounded by negativity and struggle it is up to us, the people, to do what we can to take care of each other.

If you feel you would like to help check out their website at https://northayrshire.foodbank.org.uk/locations/

Photo by Peter Wendt on Unsplash