Covid-19 continues to have a devastating impact upon communities, especially those who are already struggling, writes Mairead Chapman.
Furlough means that many people have a reduced income and many others have lost their jobs, meaning they have no work income at all.
Families who managed perfectly well this time last year are now finding themselves struggling to put food on the table.
For these people, food banks are a lifeline – not just in Glasgow, but throughout the whole of Scotland.
For a number of years now, Hyndland Secondary School has supported the North West Foodbank in Glasgow; a charity which is more crucial than ever due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
This year we have collected more than 600kg worth of food donations, which we delivered to the food bank this week.
This involved weighing and unpacking every box in order to sort all the items into different categories – soup, beans, fruit, coffee, and vegetables – checking the sell-by dates to ensure longevity.
Some products were also sent to the city centre soup kitchen for those in need elsewhere in Glasgow.
Whilst many of us are out shopping for Christmas dinner and spending money on gifts, it can be easy to forget that such items are not available to many struggling families in Glasgow.
Fortunately – as we learned during our delivery – there has been an increase in the variety of donations as Christmas approaches.
It isn’t just the basic necessities which are welcomed by those who run the food bank, but also items such as biscuits, chocolate and small gifts; things which are too easily taken for granted by those who are lucky enough to feed themselves.
No matter your age, there are lots of opportunities to help out at the North West Foodbank.
We met some incredible helpers such as Margaret, a retired office worker who volunteers four days a week and who has been making scrubs, scrub nags, masks and knitted cuddly toys since lockdown began back in March.
We felt humbled by the dedication of the people like Margaret and left inspired to do more to help people in need.
Whilst we are delighted with the amount of donations from our school, visiting the North West Foodbank helped us realise that there is still so much to be done, and we will continue to help where we can.
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- Mairead Chapman is an S6 Advanced Higher English pupil at Hyndland Secondary School. We welcome submissions to Young Voices from any school in the area. You can find out more about Glasgow North West Foodbank and ways to donate here.