Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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Winter is a tough time for many but for homeless and the hungry it’s nothing short of a nighmare. At such times, every little help makes a difference. Stylists at a Glasgow salon have been giving out haircuts in return for a payment in food to provide food for people going hungry over the winter.

Thomas McGovern, the owner of the salon, founded the event in January 2015 and it has been running every year since. Hairstylists Against Hunger day has now been held on the last Sunday every January.

Then UConcept salon in Oswold Street donates the food to Glasgow South West Foodbank.

Hairstylist Emma Diamond said the month of January was picked for the event because it was thought that this was when the foodbank needed donations the most.

She said: “When we first started the event people were talking about foodbanks a lot and we felt they aren’t now, but that doesn’t mean the need is less, especially at this time of year.”

The salon has also encouraged others in the industry to do the same.

“There are now other salons and colleges, hairstylists and even makeup artists doing their own similar events, which are amazing,” Emma added.

Foodbank development manager Claire McCunnie said: “We were delighted when Thomas came to us and said he wanted to start the event.

“Haircuts can be expensive, so knowing that the staff is giving up their day off to cut hair for free and then give food donations to the foodbank is amazing.”

Ms McCunnie explained that the foodbank struggles in January with sporadic donations.

“We have a lot of donations before Christmas but then after we only get bits and bobs in from churches that have collections but we need more, especially with universal credit now,” she said.

The organizers believe that making an appointment for a haircut in return for a food parcel also reminds clients that the need for food is still as high.

Stephen Walker, from Paisley, has come to all the events. He said: “There is no way that I would ever think to myself about going and donating to the foodbank, but coming to this event makes me think – right, I have to get food and donate it.”

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