Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Perth and Kinross Foodbank needs public support as users rise by 20% in the past year – here’s how you can help

Eleanor Kelleher, Project Co-ordinator of Perth & Kinross Foodbank
Eleanor Kelleher, Project Co-ordinator of Perth & Kinross Foodbank

With fuel and food prices soaring, dependency on food banks has increased rapidly throughout the Tayside and Fife area, and will continue to increase moving into the winter.

Not only have the number of food banks in Perth and Kinross increased from four to 24 in the space of three years, but so has the number of people relying on getting access to these services.

For the Perth and Kinross Foodbank this is a concerning reality, with the need for their services increasing by 20% this year compared to their usual annual 5% increase prior to the pandemic.

Although their numbers are slightly masked now due to the volume of those firms and community projects offering support services now, in the last year the team have fed their highest number of people to date. A total of 7,504 to be exact.

food bank
Perth and Kinross Foodbank collection. Pictured is an array of products that will be used in food parcels.

Broken down, this amounts to 3,536 parcels, with one parcel feeding two, and 2,491 of those individuals being children. This is from just one food bank.

Perth and Kinross Foodbank on Cutlog Vennel in Perth is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of 428 across the UK. In 2021/22, The Trussell Trust provided 2,173,158 three-day emergency food supplies. Of these, 832,109 went to children.

In total the local venue takes in 72 tonnes of donated food a year of and gives out 75 tonnes to those that need it, meaning that despite donations they are having to spend more of the not-for-profit’s funds on additional food supplies to meet demand.

Demand in winter “off the scale”

Project coordinator at Perth and Kinross Foodbank, Eleanor Kelleher, describes the numbers as being “the calm before the storm” as we head into autumn and winter.

“We always experience increases in winter due to the weather conditions,” she said.

“With the prices this year there are a lot more people struggling. After October it will be off the scale.”

food banks
Project coordinator Eleanor Kelleher says the situation will be “off the scale” from October for foodbanks.

Pandemic struggles from the past two years have resulted in skewed figures for the not-for-profit. It has seen both large increases and decreases which has left foodbanks unable to project how much supply they will need.

Eleanor explains: “Food banks are worried about stock levels as they have been hugely reduced because of a steady increase in people needing help and the amount of donations also reducing.

“We need as much food donations as we can going into winter.”

From left: Volunteers Susanne and Lorraine packing crates used to create food parcels.

Long-term solutions needed

Although the Perth & Kinross Foodbank gives out both food items and household essentials including cleaning product, toiletries and baby products, their aim is to help find a solution for those individuals using their services.

“Food is a short term help but it doesn’t get to the route of the problem,” Eleanor said.

Perth and Kinross Foodbank doesn’t just hand out items and food, the team also help users understand how to get additional help for a longer term fix.

“Equally important for us is signposting and getting them the help that they need.

“Half of the work we do helps people gain access to their welfare rights, social welfare funding, and getting money into their pockets.”

How to access a foodbank

Individuals are able to gain access to the foodbank by being referred from more than 100 different agencies that the foodbank works with.

Alternatively, those who need to get access can call Perth and Kinross Council’s community support line on 0345 301 1100. The team will then be able to refer them to get the correct welfare advice and support.

Eleanor filling food parcel bags for collection.

Once referred individuals are automatically assigned a food parcel which is dependent on the household size. For those living on their own or with another person they will receive a couple parcel. Anyone living in a bigger group will receive a family parcel.

This supply of food and household essentials will last for three days and will contain meals and snacks including instant meals, soups, pasta, rice, milk, juice, toilet roll tinned foods, feminine hygiene products, pet food, dental products and more.

Volunteers working in the sorting area.

Food parcels can then be collected from Perth and Kinross Foodbank between noon and 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 1:30-3:30pm on Thursday.

Alternatively individuals can also collect from their Blairgowrie location at St Catharine’s Community Centre on George Street from 10-11:30am on Tuesday and 2:30-4pm on Thursday.

How can you help and donate?

Although it may seem easier to donate money to the foodbank, Eleanor explains that this can make it difficult in terms of deciding what to buy and having to transport it to their community centre for packing.

Eleanor hopes people can donate.

Donations can be made in a number of ways to the Perth and Kinross Foodbank to help those who are struggling.

  1. Dropping food off at the Nationwide Building Society on High Street in Perth which will then be collected by the foodbank. The food cannot be chilled, fresh or frozen. There are a further eight drop off points in Perth and two in Blairgowrie alone.
  2. Buying a pre-packed bag at Morrisons which is then donated to the food bank to use in their parcels and must be in date.
  3. Buy products for the foodbank on their Amazon Wish List to ensure you are purchasing products they need. You can ceck the Perth and Kinross Facebook page and website to find out what essentials they need.
  4. Donating money. While the not-for-profit prefers donations, monetary donations can be made.
  5. Volunteering is another great way to support. Whether that is collectors, warehouse, helping collate the foodbanks or helping get foodbank vouchers into the hands of  those who need them.

The foodbank is currently in need of:

  • Small coffee jars
  • Instant meals (e.g. Pot Noodles, quick cook rice, Cuppa Soup)
  • Cooking sauces
  • Jam
  • Soup
  • Sweets/crisps/biscuits