Sign of times as town plans first food bank

Gordon Brown MP shares a joke with Halina Ritchie (Tesco) & Margaret Allan (Fairshare) at the store's National Food Collection Campaign
Gordon Brown MP shares a joke with Halina Ritchie (Tesco) & Margaret Allan (Fairshare) at the store's National Food Collection Campaign

PLANS to launch a foodbank in Kirkcaldy are well underway and there is still an opportunity for locals to help the project get off the ground.

The move follows a number of meetings to find out how much interest there would be in developing a foodbank in the town.

An initial open meeting was held in April at the Cottage Family Centre in Templehall. It was arranged to discuss the development as food poverty is on the increase in the area with more and more people struggling to make ends meet as the recession continues to bite.

Around 90 people turned up- way beyond organisers’ expectations.

Among them were those from grassroots community groups, charities, social agencies, Fife Council, businesses and councillors.

Those attending heard from the Salvation Army and St Ninian’s Church in Glenrothes about their work handing out food parcels. There was also input from the Trussell Trust, which runs the Dunfermline Foodbank.

Since then there have been two further meetings, and a steering committee has been established.

Last month, members of the committee identified areas crucial to the progress of the project - finding suitable premises for storage and distribution, collecting donations of food, managing the project in a business-like way, establishing partnerships with local supermarkets, social welfare agencies and recruiting volunteers.

As part of the initiative, a food collection was held in the Kirkcaldy branch of Tesco at the weekend.

Gordon Brown, MP, visited the store to see how a donation point was providing much needed food for thousands of people in the area.

Customers were encouraged to bring non-perishable food, such as soup, tinned fruit, and biscuits as part of the scheme organised by Tesco, The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity Fareshare.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, a lead member of the Foodbank steering committee, said: “I thank everybody for their tremendous support and real hard work.

“Kirkcaldy has recognised the need for a foodbank. The project is exciting and challenging, as it emphasises what a need there is. We are fortunate to have committed people who recognise that and are prepared to roll their sleeves up. I am looking forward to see how the project progresses.”