FARE is one of over 300 charities and other community organisations in the city that are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Based in Easterhouse and normally focused on community development in the east end of the city, Fare has re-purposed its activities to support people all across Glasgow through Covid-19.
Our focus now is on getting food to people and in the past month, we’ve provided over 450,000 meals through food parcels. We have set up hubs at schools in the east, south and west of the city and are working with a range of partners to get food into these centres so that local third sector community groups can tap into them and get a steady flow of food out to those who need it.
Jimmy Wilson, CEO at Fare Scotland
We spoke to their CEO, Jimmy Wilson, about how things are going
What does FARE do and what areas of the city do you cover?
Fare was started 30 years ago with the ultimate aim of reducing poverty in all its forms across the east end of the city. We are based in Easterhouse and normally focused on community development. But we have re-purposed our activities to support people through Covid-19
What is your role at FARE?
I am CEO at Fare Scotland. My job as CEO is to ensure that we have enough funding to enable us to tackle the poverty issues across the communities we support.
How has the organisation been helping people through the Coronavirus pandemic?
Our focus now is on getting food to people through food parcel deliveries. In the past month or so, we’ve delivered over 250,000 meals with our food parcels. We have also set up hubs in the east, south and west of the city at schools and are working with a range of partners to get food to those hubs so that localised third sector community groups can tap into them and get a steady flow of food out to those who need it.
Are you finding that people are struggling with different issues in the current situation?
With COVID-19, we are seeing thousands more people in Glasgow falling into the poverty trap. Due to loss of jobs or income, people who were perhaps doing well in life, are now asking for food parcels, struggling to pay bills and dealing with a whole host of new issues which are going to continue even post Covide-19. Also, with the lock down, mental health has hit new levels – due to isolation, lack of social contact and so forth. People new to mental health issues are feeling lonely or depressed and are calling us wanting to chat and connect to someone. We’re doing what we can and referring them on to other experts.
What do you think are priorities now going forward?
I think that now is the time for the government, councils and third sectors to be thinking beyond Covid-19 and the issues that it leaves behind – mental health, poverty, loss of jobs and so on. We need to plan ahead to get the things in place to help alleviate people’s worries.