No time for celebration as Levenmouth Foodbank marks five years

Co-ordinators Stewart English and Cassie Marshall.
Co-ordinators Stewart English and Cassie Marshall.

The Levenmouth Foodbank is marking its fifth year helping people in the area.

The foodbank was set up in 2013 by a group of local churches, in partnership with the Trussell Trust, to tackle the rise of food poverty in the town.

Volunteers from Levenmouth Foodbank. Pic: Alastair Clunie

Volunteers from Levenmouth Foodbank. Pic: Alastair Clunie

But while more food is being donated and around 40 volunteers help out at its Methil Evangelical Church home, the number of people using the service continues to rise.

Previously, the foodbank would store its extra supplies down at the innovation centre. However, the rise in usage means those days are long gone, with the foodbank now often operating on a hand-to-mouth basis.

But, as the volunteers are keen to emphasise, that is not down to the efforts of the community.

Residents have answered public appeals, businesses have come together to raise funds, and even sports teams have helped collect donations.

“The community has been amazing,” says co-ordinator Stewart English. “They are really helpful.

“I do love this community – they are behind this project and have supported us.

“It’s not that the community is giving less – it’s that the need has increased.

“We don’t take for granted how much food is donated. Although we always need more, it’s not because of a lack of backing. But we do need more.”

To mark the occasion, an event was organised to thank the volunteers who give up their time to help.

No foodbank money was used to host the event, with an anonymous donation helping fund most of it. The entertainment also came for free, with local councillor Ryan Smart demonstration his singing skills for the volunteers.

The foodbank is also holding an open day today (Wednesday) to give locals the chance to see the work the organisation does.

Unfortunately, Stewart does not think this will be the last time the foodbank will be marking an anniversary.

“People talk about exit strategies,” he said, “but I think that’s unrealistic. The problem is too big to be fixed in five years’ time. I’d love it to be fixed, but I just don’t see it.

“This is not a celebration. From day one, naïvely, we expected not to be here in five years. The fact that we need a foodbank is nothing to celebrate.”

If you would like to make a donation, the foodbank is open between 2-6pm on Monday and Friday. Donations can also be made by contacting the foodbank through Facebook.