Eight is magic num­ber for those in need

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

MORE than 300 meals were do­nated to Lochaber food bank in its first col­lec­tion of the year.

The food bank has a per­ma­nent bas­ket in the town’s Tesco su­per­mar­ket where peo­ple can do­nate when­ever and what­ever they can.

Vol­un­teer Alex McConachie, who has worked at the food bank for three and a half years and was one of the original found­ing mem­bers, heads down to Tesco ev­ery two or three days to weigh the bas­ket, with the su­per­mar­ket adding 20 per cent to what­ever it al­ready has.

The food bank has two an­nual col­lec­tions and last year it fed 681 peo­ple, 160 were chil­dren, some less than a year old.

Af­ter pick­ing up the do­na­tions, vol­un­teers at the food bank make up food parcels for those who come through the doors, giv­ing them 10 meals which lasts roughly three days.

Re­stric­tions lim­it­ing how of­ten peo­ple can use the food bank have been lifted. Pre­vi­ously peo­ple could only use the ser­vice three times ev­ery six months.

On any given day the num­ber of peo­ple re­quir­ing the ser­vice of the food bank varies but McConachie told

The Oban Times that the most they have seen in one day was 18 peo­ple, while on other days they may see no- one.

The food bank aims to help peo­ple who are home­less, un­em­ployed or on a low in­come.

Mr McConachie said: ‘Liv­ing on the min­i­mum wage is not good enough for fam­i­lies, it’s not good enough if you’re sin­gle, so we want to help those strug­gling.

‘I never ex­pected there to be this many peo­ple in need of food bank ser­vices.

‘And we are go­ing to get busier be­cause we can never get rid of poverty. But the fact that we are go­ing to be here is good for the peo­ple who need it.’

Mr McConachie has been help­ing peo­ple in need for more than 30 years.

As has Pat Les­lie, also one of the original vol­un­teers at the food bank, who has worked with Lochaber Red Cross for around 30 years.

The food bank has eight vol­un­teers, two of which are Lochaber High School pupils who vol­un­teer dur­ing their sum­mer hol­i­days.

Those in need of the food bank’s ser­vices can ac­cess it on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days, from noon to 2pm.

The food bank team in their premises on Fort Wil­liam High Street.

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