Over the past 10 years we have consistently changed what we do in response to best serving our aim of giving food to those in food crisis. In the challenging circumstances of the past 2 years our flexibility has enabled us to continue to help many individuals and families We have received support from the congregation of Kingcase, St James and Monkton & Prestwick North Churches but the larger community Arnold Clark, Sainsbury, Tesco, JMA Trust, Craigie Development Ltd. have made major contributions enabling the work of the food bank to go forward.
The heat or eat crisis is already having an impact within our community and as members of the Community Food Network Group we know that local housing agencies are already struggling to find grants to help those unable to pay power bills. Our requests for food have increased, for example the time between Christmas and New Year is usually very quiet 1 or 2 requests, this year we had 27. When I first volunteered with the food bank 8 years ago a busy week was 7 deliveries to homes and hostels now we regularly deliver 25 to 30 to hostels and housing charities
The Food Pantry Scheme, a national scheme, which has been mentioned in presbytery I understand, has been set up locally as a trial project and seen as the way out of food banks, has launched very successfully in Ayr (The Book and Bun), Maybole (Carrick Centre) and Girvan (Primary School). However it was announced at our CFNG meeting this week that government would not continue funding this project. This is a huge blow and a great disappointment to all agencies concerned. Food banks and other agencies were recently asked to read and comment on the government’s plans to end food banks, a consultation that just finished at the end of January. Food pantries were named throughout the government document as a way out of food bank dependency.
Please pray that alternative funding can be found quickly before the end of March, and dignity restored to those who are struggling to put food on the table.