The centre at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church is forced to close due to lack of funding.
Struggling mums are devastated after East Kilbride community food bank drop-in centre has closed.
The Greenhills-based facility run by the East Kilbride Community Food Bank is now shut due to a lack of funding.
Organiser Thomas McNeil told the East Kilbride News it was a “tough decision”, but insisted it was unsustainable, with an increased demand across the organisation’s six other centres, finite resources, and the total running cost of £21,000 from last year.
EK Community Food Bank is run by six local churches who supply struggling families with food parcels.
Each week around 20 families rely on the outlet at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, which also supports up to 30 families at Christmas with volunteers who stockpile presents all year round.
Two years ago, single mum-of-five Karen Fullerton found herself in huge financial struggle and was unable to feed her children. Eventually she resorted to visiting the food bank, and she told the East Kilbride News that without their help her kids would have starved.
“It took me a year to come in here for a bag,” she said. “I was mortified, but I had no choice.
“This place is essential to the Greenhills community because it’s not just about the food – it’s the community spirit. There is a food bank at Greenhills Community Centre but I don’t want to take my children there. It’s only on at nighttime when I’m putting them to bed.”
Donna McMillan, 35, says she relies on the outlet’s support system would feel isolated from the community without it.
“I suffer from anxiety and depression so I would just lock myself away and sit in the house myself,” she said. “The food bank helps but it’s more about the people. I feel comfortable coming here.”
The cafe at the church will stay open on Wednesdays – people are welcomed there for community and support.
Mr McNeil, of EK Community Food Bank, said:
“Closing any of our drop-ins is always a difficult decision but, as a food bank, we continue to see demand rise and we continue to rely completely on donations from local people and businesses.
“In the last year, we have distributed over 5500 bags of food at a cost of over £21,000. We are not council- or government-funded and so we rely completely on the generosity of individuals in our town. Unfortunately, the increased demand means that we cannot continue to sustain two food banks within less than a mile of each other and we had to make the tough decision to close one of them.
“Many towns only have one or two food banks and people have to travel long distances to get help – in East Kilbride, we have a food bank in five communities and are doing our best with the limited resources that we have.”
- by Alison Kealy, Editor for East Kilbride
- sources: East Kilbride News, the Daily Record