ONE of Scotland’s busiest food banks is running a crowdfunder as fuel, energy and food prices go through the roof in what its boss describes as “a year of catastrophe”.

“History will recall 2022 as a year of catastrophe. We don’t yet know just how great the catastrophe might be. God forbid, it might still end in mushroom clouds. Let’s all pray otherwise,” said New Scot Mark Frankland, who runs the First Base Food Bank in Dumfries.

He came to Scotland with his Black, British partner and their two boys in the mid-1990s, when he says his sons “were brown and the BNP was on the march” in the Blackburn of his youth, which was then “dead and gone”.

Frankland says the cold and hard economic facts now are unlike anything we have seen since the world recession in 1973-75.

Writing on his blog, he says: “Petrol is about to hit £10 a gallon and the price of a loaf of bread will double in the next couple of months. A 60- mile round trip is about to cost £20.

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“The consequences are beyond comprehension and as the manager of an already over-stretched foodbank the near future has become a thing of utter dread.”

He says the first clap of thunder from the approaching storm came in a phone call he took from a woman who is living with a serious long-term illness, which is becoming inevitably worse.

However, the woman had managed to keep working for the same company for 20 years, which entailed driving five round trips of 50 miles per week, a total of 250 miles.

“All of a sudden, the cost of travelling to and from work has gone up by £25 a week,” he says. “A straw to break the back of a camel. Already going to work was costing her money. Staying at home in perpetual isolation on Universal Credit would put a few more pounds coins in her purse.

“And already her incomings were incapable to filling the oil tank and thereby allowing her to heat her damp abode.”

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The woman works the till in a garage and cannot afford the extra £25 a week to get her to and from her job.

When she approached her boss to ask about some interim help, perhaps a weekly splash of petrol, in the belief her 20 years of experience might be worth something, her boss’s reply was unequivocal.

“He gave her the same answer Putin has given to the people of Mariupol,” says Frankland. “Niet. Not a litre, not a pound, not a penny. Not my problem. Plenty more fish in the sea.”

So the woman had no choice but to resign and turn to First Base for help, which he says she will get for as long as she needs it.

Frankland says the facility can keep food on the table, but can’t keep the heating or lights on, pay the rent, buy clothes, “or drive bailiffs from the door”.

He adds: “I put the phone down after half an hour or so and couldn’t escape a growing feeling of dread. And so it starts. Our part in the catastrophe of 2022.

“We do a pretty good job of distributing 16,000 emergency food parcels across an area which spans 3400 square miles. And our parcels are decent. Varied and reasonably nutritious … I wonder what one of our parcels will look like in six months’ time? Milk and a bag of porridge oats?”

With petrol approaching £10 a gallon and the price of bread about to double, he launched the fundraiser because “nobody has any idea” what the future holds.

The First Base Foodbank crowdfunder at has so far raised more than £74,000 of a £100,000 target.