The number of people using Bute’s food bank increased by nearly a third in the second quarter of this year, according to newly-published statistics.
A report by Julie Semple, manager of Bute Advice Centre, which runs the facility, states that 50 people used the service between April 1 and June 30, compared with 38 in the food bank’s first three months, from January 1 to March 31.
Of the 50 people who used the food bank during the second quarter of the year, 32 did so for the first time, while 18 made return visits having used the service previously.
Of those 18, 12 were using the service for the second time, while one used it for a third time, one for a fourth time and three for a fifth time. One person has now made use of the facility seven times since it began operating at the start of the year.
Twenty-six of the 50 users were unemployed, while a further 20 were unemployed and/or disabled. Twenty-seven of the 50 gave ‘low income’ as the reason for making use of the service, while 11 were referred to the facility by partner agencies such as the HELP Project, the NHS or Argyll and Bute Council’s social work department.
Food for the service is bought with money raised by the Bute Oasis charity shop, located in Rothesay’s Argyle Street.
Mrs Semple said: “The food bank is operating very successfully, supporting the most vulnerable in our community. Bute Advice Centre are very grateful for all contributions fo the food bank, in particular to Bute Oasis for their generosity.
“The level of contributions means that no-one in desperate straits needs to go hungry on Bute. Careful attention is taken to ensure there is no abuse of the service. All partner agencies will be contacted shortly highlighting the service and reissuing the referral forms.”