A PEEBLES-BASED food bank is in ‘crisis’ as demand sky-rockets, according to an MSP.

Last week it was reported that stock at Peeblesshire Foodbank, in Cavalry Park, was at an all-time low.

During a recent visit, Tweeddale MSP Christine Grahame said she was “shocked” at the situation facing the vital facility.

For the quarter March to May, the number of users at Peeblesshire Foodbank has increased from 216 in 2020 to 462 in 2023.

The number of children using the facility jumped from 81 to 155, according to the SNP representative.

Donations have also dropped significantly, meaning the food bank had to buy 31 per cent of its stock in the last quarter, at a cost of around £1,000 per month.

Fiona Dalgleish, general manager of Peeblesshire Foodbank, said: “It’s the perfect storm for us – just as more people are needing to use the food bank because of the cost-of-living crisis, others are less able to make their usual donations.

“With inflation at a 40-year high and benefits at a 40-year low, we wonder how long this situation is sustainable. If you are in a position to help, we would be very grateful – every tin helps.”

Peeblesshire Foodbank is currently short of pasta; pasta sauce; rice; curry sauce; baked beans; tinned fruit; tinned vegetables; tinned meat; tuna; lentils; UHT milk; cereal; porridge; tea; coffee; and diluting juice.

It also needs custard; sponge puddings; snacks (biscuits/crisps/crackers); sweets and chocolate; loo roll; shampoo and conditioner; men’s razors and shaving foam; and deodorant.

Ms Grahame said: “I knew the cost of living crisis was hitting my constituents hard but to learn that demand has rocketed by 97 per cent at Peeblesshire Foodbank was a shock even to me.

“The fact that families with children are being hit particularly hard is seriously worrying. Meeting with the food bank manager Fiona recently, I understood her anxiety as she told me about the enormous rise in demand and how the food bank is giving out more than it’s getting in.

“Scottish Government policies such as the Scottish Child Payment – £25 a week per child under 16 for qualifying families – are helping but this only mitigates the damage.

“If you can make a donation of food or money to Peeblesshire Foodbank, please do.”