WEST Lothian food bank raises £1,000 to support those affected by the pandemic, using group collecting platform Collection Pot.
Staffed by a team of 22 volunteers, Winchburgh Food Store is located about 12 miles outside of Edinburgh, and is helping 20 families each month, with a food parcel delivered each week.
Set up as a direct result of the covid-19 pandemic by local residents Angela Donnelly and Margaret Russell, Winchburgh Food Store provides food parcels for people in the area who have lost their jobs, are unable to work due to illness, or are in any other way financially struggling as a result of the pandemic.
Co-founders Margaret Russell and Angela Donnelly said the need for the group was immediately obvious:
“The number of families we’ve helped each month has been fairly consistent since the pandemic began,” said Margaret.
Angela adds: “Our village Facebook page has around 6000 people on it and we have our own Winchburgh Food Store Facebook page. We also wanted to reach out to people who were not on social media but still needed our services.Word of mouth has been useful for this. People maybe don’t have money on their phone to message us or they’re worried. Losing our job or becoming ill is something that can happen to any of us.”
Wendy Crawford, a single parent with four dependents, received support from Winchburgh Food Store when she was struggling to feed her four children after losing her job due to the pandemic and subsequently becoming unwell with coronavirus:
“I lost my job and struggled week to week because I didn’t have much work coming in, then in time I became ill myself and couldn’t work at all, I knew about the food bank but was too ashamed to come forward, as I saw it as ‘I should be the one providing for my kids’.
“But one day I looked at my kids and thought ‘this isn’t fair on them, they don’t deserve this’, so I got in touch with Winchburgh Food Store. It took me a week to build up the courage but I am so glad I did, they are amazing.
“They are friendly, discreet, and confidential, I couldn’t have got by without them, they even ask what you need and deliver extra if needed, I can’t thank them enough.”
Initially set up as a way for workplaces to collect digitally for office occasions, charities are increasingly using Collection Pot as a way to fundraise, as there are no monthly fees for charities to appear on the site and no gift aid processing fees.