Glasgow has 'more food banks than McDonald's restaurants'

There are 52 food banks open in Glasgow, compared to 18 branches of McDonald's. Picture: TSPL
There are 52 food banks open in Glasgow, compared to 18 branches of McDonald's. Picture: TSPL
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Scotland's largest city has more food banks than McDonald's restaurants - despite having the third most branches of the fast food chain in the UK.

There are 52 food banks open in Glasgow, compared to 18 branches of McDonald's - ranking behind London and Birmingham for the popularity of the fast food chain.

Ten years ago, in 2009, the Trussell Trust, one of the main organisers of food banks in the UK, had opened only one branch in Scotland.

In 2019, there are now 15 Trussell Trust food banks operating in Glasgow, and another 37 food banks run independently.

• READ MORE: Number of emergency food parcels handed out by Scots charity increases by almost 80%
Glaswegians spoke of their sadness and anger that such organisations were forced to exist - and also their pride in the generosity of the city's residents.

Ricky Hart, 34, said: "I think it is really tough, we're an incredibly prosperous nation and should be able to support everyone regardless of where they fall in society.

"I think it is a really damning indictment of the fact from the top down how much we care about people, especially people that others view as not as worth as much as others.

"It's one of the things that I'm very aware of, I'm quite lucky that myself and my partner are doing quite well, but we've donated quite a lot to both charities and food banks.

"We live in the south side and a couple of our local pubs all do big food bank drives.

"But it's something that 20 years ago, a private enterprise didn't have to do and now it's something that in order to make sure everyone over the festive period gets something that we're having to do this."

Maureen Sweeney, 53, said: "I have to say, I think it's good that the Glasgow people are pulling together and donating and putting on food banks for people, that's a good thing.

"But we shouldn't have to have them - not in this day and age.

"Sadly that's just the way it is."

Andi Knight, 46, said: "It is a disgraceful situation that we are in.

"I'm lucky that I've never had to use one but as a lone parent I could easily slip into that category.

"It's not surprising that there are so many food banks.

"I used to work for a charity that dealt with giving advice to people on benefits and quite often we would have to help people get a referral to a food bank and that is a horrible thing to have to do for someone.

"You can hear in their voice they are destroyed by having to ask for someone to do that for them.

"It's devastating."

Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: "Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration - but for too many people it's becoming harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

"Nine in 10 of us believe hunger in the UK is a problem - food banks cannot and should not have to continue to pick up the pieces.

"We know many people want to help their local communities at this time of year.

"It's not right that anyone should have to use a food bank at any time of year - not just at Christmas.

"Our next government must start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank.

"It's not inevitable that every Christmas we hear stories about families needing food banks.

"It's in our power to reach a future where everyone has enough money for the basics.

"This can change."