Dyce Church Food Bank has been giving supplies away to other Aberdeen charities as their shelves are over-flowing with food.
By Joanne Warnock
The Food Bank started in 2015 by several volunteers, including Minister Manson Merchant and his wife Sheena.
Having been told that families from Dyce were travelling to Seaton Food Bank to get food parcels, they saw there was a need for a local facility.
Mrs Merchant said: “We started in December last year and initially received lots of donations. We saw a need for a food bank in Dyce when someone from the Seaton bank told us people were making the journey from Dyce to use theirs.”
“We just want to make people aware that we are still here and we weren’t just operating at Christmas.
“We have given excess stocks to other food banks in Aberdeen, Instant Neighbour and Aberdeen Cyrenians. Long-shelf-life products, such as dried and tinned food, along with toiletries and nappies.”
Despite putting flyers out to all household in Dyce, uptake for the service has been slow.
David Simmers, who runs the Food Banks Partnership in Aberdeen, said most outlets in the city have plenty of demand – particularly after the downturn in oil price.
“But we would love them to partner up with us so we can work together. Working together is critical in coordinating the need for food banks. The rest of our banks are busier than ever, we are giving away 200-300 bags a week. In 2014 we gave away a total of 10,000 bags in Aberdeen, in 2015 it was 30,000.”
“We expect this year to be considerably more. With the Oil Industry downturn we are getting more and more coming to us from there. Maybe in Dyce, there is still a stigma involved.”
Mark MacDonald, MSP for Aberdeen Donside said:
“On the one hand it could be seen as a good thing that the food bank is not being used if it means that a need does not currently exist in the community. However at the establishment of the food bank there was a clear statement that there were people in the local community who required support. I would encourage the food bank to seek any support available from the food bank partnership in order to ensure those in need in the local community can benefit.”
Councillor Graeme Lawrence said he heard about the Food Bank via the Community Council. “They had money left-over and were thinking of donating it. I was shocked to hear that there was a Food Bank in Dyce. I haven’t heard of anyone needing it, but perhaps they are embarrassed”.
Mrs Merchant said: “Anyone in need can pop-in and pick up a food parcel. Donations are always welcome as are families or individuals in need of help. We can arrange for daytime collection if that suits people better, they just need to phone the number.”
For any more information on donating or collecting please contact 07486 603330
Or come along to Dyce Church on Tuesdays 7:30-9:00pm.