Food banks to receive online volunteer management service – Business News Scotland

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Food parcel
Volunteer with box of food for poor (Image suppled)

FOOD banks across Scotland are set to receive a digital boost as they roll out an online volunteer management system.

The new ‘Assemble’ platform from Scottish Tech Army (STA) will help the essential services to manage shift patterns, rotas and communications while dealing with the challenges of coronavirus.

Assemble, which is also used by RSPCA and Save the Children, works as a centralised database that accommodates volunteer sign-up, data collection and communication.

STA is launching the system at the Trussell Trust and its 137 food banks to aid interactions between food banks and its volunteers.

A report released by foodbank charity the Trussell Trust last month estimates that food banks will give out six emergency food parcels a minute this winter across the UK.

Laura Ferguson, operations manager for Scotland at the Trussell Trust, said: “Communities throughout Scotland have shown enormous resilience in helping more people than ever before during the pandemic. But Covid-19 has led to a huge rise in the number of new people needing to use a food bank for the first time. This isn’t right.

“In the short-term tools such as Assemble will help food banks in our network with administrative systems, allowing time to be freed up so teams can focus on helping people who need support the most. And in the meantime, we’ll continue to campaign for a future where everyone has enough money to put food on the table.”

STA will support the launch of the system initially in Edinburgh, Cupar, Aberdeenshire and Shetland with plans to roll-out the software nationwide later this year.

Alistair Forbes, Founding Director of the Scottish Tech Army added: “Food banks provide an essential service to thousands of families across Scotland and we are proud to be supporting the Trussell Trust in the roll out of its software.

“We hope to create a long-term partnership that will see STA volunteers work closely with this vital charity, supporting communities across Scotland going forward.”

 
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