A FOODBANK in Barrhead has claimed that 2023 has been its "busiest period" yet compared to previous years.

Ken Trench, who is a founding member of the East Renfrewshire Foodbank which has bases on Lowndes Street as well as in Thornliebank and Busby, revealed numbers of those seeking help increased around a year and a half ago when energy prices started rising.

Speaking to the Barrhead News, the 53-year-old said this year has been "busier than ever" for the local good cause.

Meanwhile, Stan Esson, who also works for the worthy cause, added: "This has been our busiest period.

Barrhead News:

"We used to have an average of around 50 to 55 parcels a week and now we're doing anything between 65 and 75.

"I think the highest is over 80."

Comparing how busy this year has been compared to 2022, the 82-year-old claims it's been "at least 20% higher".

Ken added: "The bigger picture is our numbers really changed when the energy prices started going up a year and a half ago.

Barrhead News:

"January 2023 was our highest numbers ever - really 2022 into 2023 has been the biggest increase that we've ever seen.

"Before that time, on a Tuesday we would maybe serve about 15 customers and on a Friday we would maybe serve 25 customers or so but now we're looking at serving 30 people every time we're open in Barrhead alone."

Across all their foodbanks, Ken claims that while Busby and Thornliebank are "smaller", the overall demand has been "massive".

Meanwhile, the caring man has also said the foodbanks have faced a huge challenge this year surrounding stock levels.

"We've had to buy a lot more stock," Ken said.

Barrhead News:

"Donations have been amazing all through the last 10 years.

"They have maybe been slightly down but then people are probably feeling the pressure.

"It's not just energy rises, it's the cost-of-living crisis that's affecting everybody."

Throughout the cost-of-living, the foodbank revealed they have been helping people from all kinds of backgrounds.

Ken said: "We're just a link in the chain if you like, where we're providing help for people in emergency situations, plus there are long-term people with low incomes that just struggle.

"We help everyone from folk that are in full-time jobs and to people who have lost work but it's always good when you see people getting a job or something like that.

"Recently, there has been a family coming for about a year and the guy managed to get his immigration status sorted and got a job, and it's always nice when you get a story like that.

"There's also people that have retired that don't have enough to keep them going to the end of the month.

"We've got some people who just come occasionally. It's a real mix of situations."

To find out more about the foodbank or donate, click HERE.