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Local MSPs Aileen Campbell and Linda Fabiani visited Loaves and Fishes on Friday 13th September. The organisation is a food bank helping families and individuals in need all over South Lanarkshire.

Volunteer Irene Pepperell showed the MSPs the base in East Kilbride, a facility that allows the charity to store and distribute food to the needy in the local community. Over the last year the numbers requiring the help of the charity have increased dramatically, an increase that shows no signs of stopping.

Irene told the MSPs:"The changes in the benefit system that Westminster have introduced are causing major problems for people. There are families losing benefits for 4 weeks, as they change from system to another. This means they struggle to feed their children. There are also people facing difficulties each month to pay bills and general expenses - a slight increase in one bill means they can’t afford everything, including the very basics like food."

After the visit Aileen commented: "While I am very impressed with the work that Loaves and Fishes and other charities are doing and the fantastic efforts of the dedicated volunteers, it is awful that in 21st century Scotland we have so many people relying on food banks. Scotland is a country rich in resources - it doesn’t have to be like this."

Linda added "The Scottish Government is doing its best to mitigate the worst of the welfare cuts imposed by Westminster, but this is another example of the need for Scotland to have the power and ability to make decisions based on the best interests of the people who live here. Scotland can be a fairer country where we can ensure that the people who need help receive it."

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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