The Barrhead News today launches its Christmas foodbank appeal to ensure no-one goes hungry in East Renfrewshire this festive season.

We have teamed up with East Renfrewshire Foodbank to ask our generous readers to spare a thought for those who will be struggling to make ends meet.

Our appeal in previous years has tugged at the heartstrings of people of all ages and we are confident communities will rally round this year with even more goodwill.

The appeal is being launched at a time when unprecedented demand is being put on East Renfrewshire Foodbank, which has seen an upsurge in food requests that is causing a dramatic reduction in its available stock.

Barrhead News:

Stan Esson, the foodbank’s warehouse manager, told the Barrhead News: “We are trying to meet the needs as best we can but we are starting to get panicky.

“We had 12 tons of stock available in January and that has fallen to one and a half tons.

“That consists mainly of soup and beans, so, basically, we need everything to augment our supplies.”

Stan said there was an immediate need for tins of fruit, rice pudding, fish, meat, vegetables and spaghetti.

UHT milk, fruit juice in cartons, jars of jam and small jars of coffee are also needed.

Stan said it was unclear what was causing the recent spike in demand. He added difficulties with benefits did not seem to be the reason, as was the case previously with the rollout of the controversial Universal Credit.

READ MORE: Benefits ‘crisis’ sparks rise in demand for help from foodbanks

He added: “On our two opening days last week, Tuesday and Friday, we had 62 clients while we would normally expect 40 to 45.

“There is definitely an upward trend and we have no idea what’s causing it.”

“We are certainly seeing new faces as well as our regular clients.”

East Renfrewshire Foodbank was established in 2013 and is supported by the Trussell Trust. 

It exists primarily to provide assistance and three days’ worth of nutritionally-balanced food to local people in poverty or crisis.

READ MORE: Sharp rise in foodbank demand as Universal Credit blamed

Volunteers have also given talks at local schools to raise awareness of the struggles of people in poverty.

Stan said the foodbank enjoyed tremendous support from the public, including schools, churches and individuals.

They were also indebted to the support shown by ASDA and Waitrose in Newton Mearns and Tesco in Barrhead, where customers regularly donate items to foodbank boxes.

The festive season is a busy time for foodbank volunteers as many cash-strapped parents struggle to cope with the pressure of buying gifts for their kids and putting food on the table.

By donating food for our festive appeal, readers will be helping the team at East Renfrewshire Foodbank provide vital support – both now and beyond Christmas.

Stan added: “The public have been terrific but we now need to prepare to meet the extra demand.”

“Any support we receive is vital in ensuring people don’t go hungry this Christmas.”

YOU can support our appeal by dropping off supplies directly to the foodbank at 146 Main Street, Barrhead.

The foodbank is open on Tuesdays, between noon and 2pm, and on Fridays, from 2pm until 4pm.

If possible, please donate items in reusable bags, so that they can be easily distributed to those in need.

Any business or organisation which is keen to support the appeal is welcome to get in touch with the Barrhead News by calling our newsroom on 0141 435 8828 or emailing