Look at This Viral Photo of 200 People Queueing at a Food Bank in Heavy Snow

Hundreds braved freezing conditions to queue for food parcels in Glasgow. “Times are hard,” the food bank told VICE World News.
February 11, 2021, 5:12pm
Look at This Viral Photo of 200 People Queueing at a Food Bank in Heavy Snowsnow thumb
Photo: KINDNESS HOMELESS STREET TEAM

A food bank in Scotland has shared a shocking picture of hundreds of people queuing in the heavy snow to receive emergency food parcels. 

The picture was taken on Monday night in Glasgow, where this week weather warnings have been in place due to freezing conditions and heavy snow, brought on by Storm Darcy.

Kindness Homeless Street Team in Glasgow, shared the photo on their Facebook page earlier this week with the caption, “What a wonderful team! Everyone with a smile on their face ready to help our homeless and less fortunate.”

Speaking to VICE World News, a spokesperson for Kindness Homeless Street Team said they had witnessed more people using the food bank during the pandemic. “Monday was a particularly busy night for our soup kitchen,” they said. “We serviced over 220 to people. Some homeless, out of work, out of prison, and some just needing some support. Our team ensured no one went hungry, like we do four nights per week.”

“Our numbers have increased significantly since the third lockdown,” they continued. “The number does concern me but it doesn’t surprise me. Times are hard.”

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A tweet sharing the picture, mistakenly attributing the queue to Tuesday, has had over 4,000 retweets and 10,000 likes. One user shared the photo, writing, “There were 220 people in this queue. It was minus 2. We are the 5th largest economy in the world. We should all be utterly ashamed.”

Food bank usage during the pandemic has skyrocketed as unemployment continues to rise. Statistics from food bank charity the Trussell Trust show that in the first six months of the pandemic, 1.2 million emergency food parcels were provided in the UK, including 2,600 parcels for children every day. It also saw a 47 percent increase in usage during that period – but this is the tip of the iceberg, according to the charity. 

Polly Jones, head of Scotland at the Trussell Trust, said: “Volunteers in food banks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure there is support for people struggling to afford essentials. But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food.”   

“As many of us face additional lockdown restrictions and growing job uncertainty,” she added, “we need the Scottish and UK governments to use all powers and resources to invest in a welfare system which keeps money in the pockets of people who need it most.”   

Ian Murray, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland said: “This is the physical embodiment of Tory and SNP government failure to look after those most in need. They have failed in their basic duty as a government and we should all be focussed on eradicating poverty.”

VICE World News also reached out to the Scottish government for comment. A spokesperson said: “We know that people are facing hard times right now. That is why we have provided over £0.5 bn to help support people since the onset of the pandemic, including over £140 million targeted at tackling food insecurity and over £5 million additional funds for support for people experiencing homelessness, including people at risk of rough sleeping. Over £65 million has been invested in supporting people and communities in Glasgow.”

“We have made clear our concern that the pandemic has shown the underlying flaws in the UK government’s welfare system,” they continued. “It is absolutely essential that the UK government act now to make permanent the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and extend it to people on other benefits. Removing this support risks pushing a further 60,000 in Scotland people into poverty and removes vital support when it is needed.”

VICE World News also reached out to the Scottish government for comment. A spokesperson said: “We know that people are facing hard times right now. That is why we have provided over £0.5 bn to help support people since the onset of the pandemic, including over £140 million targeted at tackling food insecurity and over £5 million additional funds for support for people experiencing homelessness, including people at risk of rough sleeping. Over £65 million has been invested in supporting people and communities in Glasgow.”

“We have made clear our concern that the pandemic has shown the underlying flaws in the UK government’s welfare system,” they continued. “It is absolutely essential that the UK government act now to make permanent the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and extend it to people on other benefits. Removing this support risks pushing a further 60,000 in Scotland people into poverty and removes vital support when it is needed.”