Trying to put food on the table

Volunteers at work
Volunteers at work
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Hunger isn’t just a Third World problem.

And now steps are being taken to tackle this grim reality in Falkirk.

Every day families go hungry as the spiralling cost of living makes putting food on the table a challenge.

However, one group of volunteers aim to ease this crisis with a Falkirk Foodbank.

Scotland now has more than a dozen of the schemes, which are already common throughout England, giving people faced with going hungry a place to get groceries.

Pastor Ken Bleakley of Larbert Baptist Church is one of the people behind the plans to bring a foodbank to the town.

He said: “Most people are shocked that there is such extreme poverty going on right on their doorstep.

“It shouldn’t be a factor in 21st century Britain, but sadly it is. There can be hold ups in benefits, domestic difficulties or unemployment leaving people with no money to put food on the table.

“We did research into poverty in Falkirk and found there is a real need here, so I knew we had to do something.

“We have had meetings with the Trussell Trust who help to set up Foodbanks and the response from the public and other churches wanting to get involved has been incredible - it’s clear this is an issue people are passionate about.”

Foodbanks are run by trained volunteers, with the groceries donated.

It is intended there will be a central bank with distribution centres throughout the Falkirk area.

People in need will be referred by social services and can collect groceries or have them delivered by volunteers.

With 13 million people in Britain living below the poverty line, just one change in circumstances can be the difference between getting to eat that day or not.

Pastor Ken added: “The other Foodbank schemes around the country have been very successful with the public generous in their donations.

“No one should go hungry but this is something that goes on - and it goes on right here in Falkirk.

“Benefits are to change in April and will make a real difference to those on the breadline so we have given ourselves until them to get the Foodbank up and running.

“We expect more and more people to be affected by food poverty and we want to be set up and ready to help.”

If you would like to get involved contact Ken on (01324) 553954 or email ken.bleakley@btinternet.com or email Rev. Gordon MacIndoe on gordonjennny@blueyonder.co.uk