How communities are tackling food insecurity in Glasgow

Responding to the heavy toll of Covid-19 on Glasgow’s poorest people, the Glasgow Community Food Network (GCFN) is delivering emergency food supplies. To protect residents against the economic fallout of lockdown, the organisation is also transforming the city’s food system to provide sources of local fruit and vegetables.

Since March 2020, their volunteers have been busy delivering food to people in need with the help of Community Transport Glasgow’s fleet of electric vehicles. 

Project organiser Rachel Edwards described an average day delivering the food: “Every Tuesday we receive five to six pallet loads of nutritious food, we receive the food from suppliers and volunteers go out in the electric buses to delivering the food to our network of organisations. So it requires a lot of heavy lifting and sorting food.”

Prior to the pandemic, one in ten Glaswegians were likely to experience food insecurity. Since Covid-19 brought us into lockdown, the situation has worsened. GCFN has seen a massive rise in people requiring assistance to access food and their low-priced food supplies help meet this demand.

Funded by the Scottish government’s Communities Recovery Fund, they distribute over 125kg of healthy pulses, seasoning and vegetables to over 20 organisations every week to support their work providing food parcels and hot meals to people in need.

“The demand increases all the time and we could be running this project over the next few years, with people being made redundant,” explained Rachel, who work shares with herbalist and foraging expert Catriona Gibson to oversee the Covid-19 response. 

Local institutions have also offered a hand, with The University of Glasgow being integral to the early stages of their Covid-19 response. The university offered its catering facilities as a distribution centre and staff members volunteered to support with packaging, sorting and deliveries.


The future of food for a prosperous city

It’s not only an economic crisis that the city needs to buffer itself against. Ahead of COP26, to be held in Glasgow, the GCFN is also preparing to support residents through the toll of the climate crisis that we’re edging further into.

By transforming disused spaces around the city into community gardens, the organisation is creating free sources of food. GCFN is running the project, ‘Low Carbon Sustainable Food City For All’ in partnership with Urban Roots, Glasgow Eco Trust, The Space, St Paul’s Youth Forum and Central and West Integration Network.

To become a member of GCFN as an individual or organisation to receive reduced-price food, sign up here.

GCFN is always looking for donations of food or corporate partners to support their work with food supplies. To find out more contact [email protected].