Eight is magic number for those in need
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.