Food bank struggling to make up meal parcels due to lack of donations

Brechin Community Pantry said the cost of living crisis and Universal Credit cut is affecting donations.

A food bank in Angus is struggling to make up meal parcels for those in need due to a lack of donations.

Brechin Community Pantry told STV News that it is usually quiet post-Christmas, but this year seems to be worse because of the cost of living crisis and Universal Credit cut.

Rene Hussain, manager of the pantry, said people now can’t afford to give away food.

Angus: Rene Hussain, manager of Brechin Community Pantry.STV News

She said: “We’ll put a meal together. So, if we give a client two evening meals and two lunches, they’ll get a full well-balanced meal.

“Now, as a result of the lack of donations, it’s been so hard to do that.

“We get very little fruit and vegetables donated. We’ve started having to purchase our own. We’re trying to raise funds in order to purchase that, which we are just managing to do.

“But without the vegetables there to back up the few tins that we’ve got, it is a struggle to get those meals together and that is as a result of the lack of donations.”

Cost of living crisis: An additional 20 people have been added to the food bank's client list since Christmas.STV News

An additional 20 people from the Brechin and Montrose area have been added to the food bank’s client list since Christmas.

There are further concerns that as fuel and food bills increase, more people will be flocking to places like Brechin Community Pantry for help.

The Trussell Trust told STV News some food banks have been trying to make their donations go further by making up smaller parcels.

Polly Jones, from the trust, added: “Food banks have also been buying increasing amounts of food themselves to top up the donations that they’ve got.

“But the fundamental issue is actually that food banks will do all they can, but no charity can replace the dignity of buying what you need for yourself.”