Boxer Lee McAllister revealed poverty in the north-east during the Covid-19 crisis remains so severe he helped feed an elderly lady who had survived on just tea for three days.
As some lockdown restrictions begin to ease McAllister warned starving families must not be forgotten.
At the weekend many people flocked to beaches and parks as new rules allowed Scots to meet friends or family from one other household outdoors for the first time in months.
However McAllister, 37, remains just as busy delivering survival parcels from the food bank set up at his Assassin Health and Fitness Village.
Such is the economic hardship gripping the North-east McAllister and his team of volunteers have delivered more than 500 food parcels.
He said: “Some people think just because they are allowed to meet friends or family outdoors again everything is back to normal.
“Nothing is back to normal. This problem is not going away anytime soon.
“Many companies have had to shut down so people are out of a job.
“We have seen families with two adults who suddenly get dropped from a full wage and they have kids to feed.
“They are basically living on nothing for eight weeks until their universal credits come through. One of the pensioners we helped phoned us up in tears.
“She had been living on cups of tea with no milk for three days. A woman that has worked her whole life was starving. That is only one case.
“People are struggling out there. It is very hard for many.
“There have been so many people crying on the doors when we deliver the packages as they have nothing.
“The whole county is on its knees.”
McAllister and his team of volunteers are delivering care packages in Aberdeen and beyond, reaching as far afield as Elgin and Arbroath.
They deliver specialised packages catering to individual needs that will last for a week.
The nation is now in Phase One of the Scottish Government’s route map for emerging from the coronavirus lockdown.
However McAllister, a two weight WBU and Commonwealth champion, will continue to deliver food packages as long as they are needed – even if that is a year from now.
He said: “Assassin Health and Fitness Village is a gym, we turned it into a foodbank to try to help people.
“We will keep this food bank going as long as the demand is still there.
“Whether that is six months, a year, whatever.
“We will keep our stocks up as much as we can to help anyone that needs it.
“I am sure it will slow down and a lot of other charities will open up and it will be easier for us to come away from it.
“But at this moment in time we could not walk away.
“I could not sleep at nights knowing there are people going hungry and we could help them.
“Some of the people who have contacted us said they are embarrassed about it.
“But they shouldn’t be.
“Don’t be scared to ask for help, that is why we are here.
“We set up to help people in need although we didn’t think it was going to be as bad as this.”
McAllister recently announced plans to hold a massive party for NHS staff, key workers and the wider community at the Assassin Health and Fitness Village in Balgownie when lockdown is lifted.
The boxer aims to raise £50,000 towards costs for the ‘It’s a Knockout’ event and has set up a crowdfunding campaign.
Sporting stars including Open champion Paul Lawrie, Gothenburg Great Jim Leighton, Aberdeen’s greatest goal-scorer Joe Harper and darts player John Henderson have backed it.
McAllister said: “I want to do something to show there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Once this is all over people will know they have this free event to look forward to.”
To donate to the crowdfunding campaign, visit bit.ly/2Wuykrq