Renfrewshire Foodbank has opened a brand new warehouse in Renfrew but says that it is not a cause for a "celebration".

The new facility aims to help cope with the increasing demand for its services with the lifeline network now catering for approximately 10,000 people across the local authority.

Crystal Clayton, senior manager at Renfrewshire Foodbank, says that having to get a bigger building to cater for people shows the problem is getting worse rather than better.

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The Gazette: Chair of Trustees Steve McManus and senior manager Crystal Clayton.Chair of Trustees Steve McManus and senior manager Crystal Clayton. (Image: Gordon Terris)

When talking about the opening of the new building, Crystal said: "It's daunting that we have had to increase the capacity of the building tenfold.

"It is all because the numbers are constantly going up and up and up.

"We don't see an end to it.

"Standing here today in this shiny new building should not be seen as a celebration or as an achievement but how it is needed at this moment and time.

"There needs to be a wider conversation, at a national level, about tackling this more and changing it in the future."

The Gazette:

The 33-year-old revealed that helping people "break the cycle" of poverty is not just about supplying food packages anymore and that those coming to the food bank need all the support they can get.

She said: "It is all about joined up working and what we can do as a community and work together.

"We need to make sure that people are getting the food support primarily, but the full support that is available to help them improve their situation.

"Because if you don't get the full support, you will never be able to improve the overall situation you find yourself in."

The Gazette:

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The volunteers at the foodbank got their new home ready and opened in just under a week, whilst maintaining their distribution centres - something they said they "had to do" as they were still looking to help those in need.

Crystal said that it is thanks to all the hard work, dedication and desire from the volunteers that they were able to get it done.

The Gazette:

The Gazette:

A tour was given to partners, volunteers and people in the community on Tuesday (April 30) to showcase how the new operation would work.

Lisa Belletty, 40, works for The Trussell Trust and she said that their aim is to not have a single food bank in any community.

Lisa added how she would like to see an 'essential guarantee' introduced into legislation that would look to provide people on Universal Credit with the value of what essential goods cost at that specific time.

She said: "We want people to have enough money in their pockets to be able to afford food for themselves.

"It is just unfortunate that food banks are needed right now and Renfrewshire Foodbank moving into this space is indicative of that.

"We believe in campaigning for change at a national level. 

"One of the things we would really like to see introduced is an essential guarantee as that would provide the basic essentials that we are all entitled to.

"People shouldn't be forced to turn to food banks for these items at all."