A baby food bank that has helped more than 3,000 desperate families is in financial crisis amid growing demand.
The Glasgow Baby Food Bank was established in October 2019 after a local community group learned that a breastfeeding asylum seeker had been hospitalized and the father could not afford to buy infant formula for his child .
Women who ran a poverty support group tried to help, but were shocked to learn that traditional food banks don’t stock baby milk.
They posted a Facebook appeal for donated formula to feed the eight-week-old baby and were inundated.
Tracy Pender, one of the three directors of the Glasgow Baby Food Bank, explained how the organization was created for the north of Glasgow but has grown due to high demand over a large area.
She said: “After that initial call we were inundated with formula, so after helping this child we decided that we could help other vulnerable families in difficult situations or the like and the baby food bank is up. born.
“We now also provide diapers, baby toiletries, clothing, furniture and other baby essentials and there is a huge need for all of this. ”
Originally they used cupboards and spare parts in the premises of other community organizations, but they had grown too big and had to get their own premises.
In November 2020, a generous couple paid 12 months of rent from a vacation fund they had not used due to the pandemic.
Now that the money is depleted, they cannot afford to pay the £ 6,000 they need for another year’s rent.
Tracy and the other directors, Maggie Watson and Catherine Yuill, along with seven other volunteers, never made a dime of wages despite working long hours at the food bank.
Many of their clients are in financial limbo, with delays of several weeks before receiving their right to universal credit.
Demand for their services is expected to rise sharply among struggling low-income families when the £ 20 per week cut in UC payments in October goes into effect.
Tracy said, “As a result of reducing the rise and rise in child poverty, we anticipate that we will need to help more families in the future.
“We cannot afford to continue without proper funding and official core funding is so hard to come by. We ask people to please dig in and make a donation to help us maintain our premises and this vital service. “
The 3,000 families the food bank has helped since March of last year have not only received formula, but also baby clothes, diapers and supplies.
A number are asylum seekers who are not allowed to work or claim benefits and survive on a paltry sum when the formula costs up to £ 10 a box. Families are also referred by volunteers to other services, such as benefit counseling and traditional food banks.
● Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/babyfoodbank to donate. For more information, search Glasgow Baby Food Bank on Facebook.