Food poverty escalating in Mid Argyll

Demand for community food shares like Tarbert's pantry has escalated.

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The combination of soaring fuel costs and record food prices has led to more Mid Argyll families than ever before seeking help from food sharing projects.

Volunteers who run the Pantry in Tarbert are reporting a surge in demand that they believe is particularly acute due to the village’s distance from larger cities and supply chains.

Organiser Helen Bellshaw said: ‘Due to the rise in fuel and energy bills, and general living costs, people are feeling a great concern.

‘Many can no longer afford to travel to the bigger towns where there is more choice of foodstuffs and cheaper prices. Even some people working full time are experiencing a level of food poverty.

‘It’s a worrying time and we don’t see it improving, rather getting worse as we go into the colder months.’

Helen’s comments on Wednesday June 22 came on the day that supermarket chain Tesco issued an appeal for volunteers and more donations to the overstretched food-banks they support.

Both the Trussell Trust and Foodshare charities have reported an overwhelming increase in demand for their services compared to last year.

Trussell Trust Chief Executive Officer Emma Revie said: ‘As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, millions of people across the country are struggling to survive. We know that too many families will be forced to use a food bank over the coming months because they are unable to afford the essentials.

‘Supporting the Tesco Food Collection this summer by volunteering could make all the difference to your local food bank during this busy period.

‘You could donate a couple of hours of time and volunteer during the collection or alternatively, you could donate food to your local Tesco donation point.’

Development Manager at FareShare Grampian, Highlands and Islands Graeme Robbie added: ‘The cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on thousands of families and our charities are telling us that demand for their services continues to grow as a result.’

The Pantry in Tarbert is also involved in a gardening project focussing on wellbeing and mental health and is looking for donations of compost and fruit trees as well as plants and shrubs.

Helen said: ‘We want the garden area to be somewhere people can sit and enjoy.
If you can help, please message us on the Pantry’s Facebook page.’

PIC

no_a25Pantry01 Demand for community food shares like Tarbert’s pantry has escalated.