A new foodbank has been opened in Bristo Memorial Church by a partnership with the Trussell Trust.
The Trussell Trust say that this partnership with Freddi Wilson of Links Community and Rev Drausio Goncalves to open a foodbank in the church comes at a time when foodbank use has risen in Scotland by 6%.
The Edinburgh East foodbank will be the 52nd in the trust’s network, and will be run through a partnership of the church, Edinburgh Food Project, which represents the Trussell Trust, and the charity Links Community.
The foodbank is open in Bristo Memorial Church of Scotland on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11am and 2pm and on Saturdays from noon to 3pm.
Minister praises volunteers
Rev Drausio Goncalves welcomed the opening and praised the volunteers who will staff it saying the foodbank is just one way that the Bristo congregation is seeking to support the Craigmillar community with food.
“We started with the project ‘Meals for Mums and Dads’ which involves people of Bristo congregation helping parents with food during the first two weeks of their new born babies,” Mr Goncalves said.
“Then, always aiming to support people from the community, there’s a project run by Fresh Start at Bristo kitchen that offers a cooking class, twice a week.
“There are also plans for a community food garden at Bristo grounds and now we are pleased to start a foodbank in partnership with the Trussell Trust and Links Community.
“People who live within walking distance of Bristo usually need to take one or two buses to get to a Foodbank. Now there is one next door.
“It’s not only about the food, however, It’s also about building relationships, having new friends and walking alongside those in need. We believe that this is just us trying to follow the footsteps of He who is the Bread of Life.”
One in three food referrals were children
The Trussell Trust, which opened its first foodbank in 2011, last week issued new figures for foodbank use in Scotland.
The Trust says it handed out 63,794 three-day supplies of food for men women and children in Scotland between April and September 2016, with 20,332 of these referrals—or 32 per cent—being for children.
The statistics represent a 6 per cent increase from 2015 and Scotland continues to have a higher rate of need, the Trust says, although foodbank use has decreased in the nine local authorities which have taken steps to partner with the foodbanks.
Ewan Walker, operations manager for Edinburgh Food Project said:
“I am delighted to be working in partnership with Links Community and Bristo Memorial Church to open our Craigmillar foodbank centre to provide a crisis food service.
“Our Edinburgh East foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks, will distribute food packs providing a minimum of nine meals for individuals and families in the Craigmillar area referred to us by local frontline care agency partners.
“Our passion and heart for this work comes from what Jesus says in Matthew 25:35 ‘For I was hungry and you feed me…’ and this mandate to feed the poor could not be clearer to Christians to take action and serve those in food poverty their local community.”