Community urged to come together to set up new foodbank charity for Burntisland and Kinghorn
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A meeting is set to take place on Monday, February 12 on Burntisland Parish Church in a bid to establish a board of trustees in the first step to creating a new charity.
The meeting has been called by a group of volunteers after Kirkcaldy Foodbank has made the difficult decision to close down its Burntisland centre by the end of July, due to the continuing cost of living crisis.
The team have been running a branch serving the Burntisland and Kinghorn communities for the last nine years, however with ever increasing costs, it is no longer possible for them to continue working in the area.
Now, a group of volunteers are hoping to establish a separate charity to provide a foodbank for the local communities to continue helping those in need.
Pat Gibson, team leader for the Burntisland branch of Kirkcaldy Foodbank, said: “With the cost of living crisis the need has grown to crisis levels, and Kirkcaldy Foodbank have had to make the tough decision to pull out of Burntisland after nine years.
"Currently around 40 parcels are given out every week at the Burntisland centre, which over the course of 2023 accounted for 9.8 per cent of all Kirkcaldy Foodbank’s parcels.
"According to statistics children make up around 30 per cent of the clients, and there are new clients coming all the time.
“The clients mostly come from Burntisland and Kinghorn, although we have a few from Aberdour.
“It’s working people who didn’t think they’d ever have to use a foodbank who are coming in, families and pensioners. Everyone is struggling.
"The thought of Burntisland and Kinghorn without a foodbank would be awful as the cost of living is just horrendous.
"It is essential that organisation of a new local foodbank starts immediately, and to that end, the volunteers have scheduled a public meeting.
"Everyone is welcome to this meeting. We have called this public meeting to see if we have the community behind us.
“The hope is that enough people with relevant skills will come forward to form a board of trustees as the first step in creating the new charity.
“If we can’t get a board together then we can’t get a foodbank together.
“Once we know we have got enough people for a board we can then start the rest of the work on the fundraising. It costs around £2000 a month to run our centre.
"There is a tough road ahead, but the need in Burntisland and Kinghorn is only increasing as the cost of living crisis is worsening, and a foodbank supporting the two towns is needed now, more than ever.
"Kirkcaldy Foodbank have been amazing over all these years and we understand why they have made the decision. They are spending £20,000 a month on food.
"A big thank you to Kirkcaldy Foodbank for supporting our communities all these years, and thank you to the communities, who have always been generous in their donations and supported the Burntisland branch.
"Let’s come together as a community now and make this happen.”
The first foodbank in Burntisland started in 2012 when business owners Pat Gibson and Lorna Duffin started one from their cafe, Potter About on the High Street. They started with a small set of shelves with donations from customers and joined the Suspended Coffee movement, where customers buy a coffee and a bacon roll for someone in need to enjoy later.
Pat said: “It soon became apparent that this was not enough, as the food on the shelves was disappearing faster than it arrived.
"We were delighted when a board member from Kirkcaldy Foodbank approached them and asked if they wanted to come on board with them, and have parcels delivered every week.”
It started with eight parcels in 2015 and that number has gradually increased over the years. When Potter About closed in 2018, the foodbank moved to Solid Rock, a premises run by Burntisland Parish Church.
By that time the Kirkcaldy Foodbank Burntisland branch was giving out between 20 and 30 food parcels a week.
Then in 2020, the foodbank moved to its current home in the local Salvation Army Hall.
The public meeting about setting up the new charity will take place in Burntisland Parish Church on Monday, February 12 at 7.30pm.