Food insecurity was a severe problem before the government announced a lockdown, and it has now become one of the predominant issues facing everyone.
The shops still have plenty of food for sale, but many people cannot take the risk of leaving the house, or have contracted the virus and have to self-isolate. It is imperative that food is delivered to everyone who needs it.
Many foodbanks are run by volunteers who are themselves at high risk, and need to stay at home. However the commitment by food banks and local communities and groups is hugely impressive. Many new networks have set up and existing ones have scaled up.
In south east Glasgow the local foodbank is still operating on Mondays from 12.30 to 2pm. Donations are still being made at the moment and food parcels are still going out. The foodbank operates by taking referrals from local groups including Housing Associations and the Social Work Department. These groups can still access food parcels by contacting the foodbank.
Local networks have started up extremely quickly. The Castlemilk Together group has combined to create a whole new range of essential services for those needing food, and food deliveries. A very wide range of organisations are working together from Housing Associations and the Social Work Department, to the Seniors Centre, childcare and youth projects, the Relaxation Centre and others.
However it is very important that all local areas have a comprehensive food delivery service for those who need it. Not all areas have an extensive network of community groups, but many areas have a very high demand for these types of services.
Establishing new networks, and providing support to those who are creating and sustaining them, is vital.
Ensuring that no one is destitute is also crucial at the moment. Universal Credit is now the default benefit for those with no or little income. Anyone applying should claim an advance payment if necessary. This should ensure that money comes through quickly. It usually amounts to one month’s money and can be repaid in 12 instalments, deducted from future monthly payments.
For help and advice on this, the Glasgow Advice and Information Network is still operating. If you are in the south east of the city you can call Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre on 634 0313. Leave a message with your phone number and email address and we will get back to you.
The following advice agencies operate throughout the city:
0141 5540336 advice@Bridgetoncab.org.uk
0141 9442612 firstname.lastname@example.org
0141 7712328 email@example.com
0141 9480204 WEB Chat - WWW.GNWCAB.ORG.UK
0141 5540004 firstname.lastname@example.org
0141 8812462 email@example.com
Clydeside Action on Asbestos
0141 5528852 firstname.lastname@example.org
0141 9440507 email@example.com.
0141 7735850 firstname.lastname@example.org
0141 6340313 email@example.com
0141 6340338 firstname.lastname@example.org
EthnicMinority Law Centre
0141 2042888 email@example.com
0141 4455221 firstname.lastname@example.org
0141 3533354 or 0800 3168450 email@example.com.