Members of our club are engaged in other voluntary activities. Three of them share their experiences with Perth and Kinross Foodbank.
I started working with the Foodbank last year after helping them out with their annual collection in Tesco. I spend most of my time in the packing area, making sure that the parcels contain all of the specified items required to feed the recipients for three days. As I tend to be the youngest on my shift, I keep myself fit by running up and down the stairs replenishing stock!
I also enjoy meeting new people who come in through the door and was initially surprised by the wide diversity of the people using the Foodbank. It really made me realise that no one is immune as you never know what lies ahead.
I really enjoy the team spirit amongst the volunteers and hope that our combined efforts can give a little help to people in their time of need.
I started volunteering about 18 months ago after learning about the Foodbank through Rotary. I had recently moved to being fully self-employed, so for the first time, had the flexibility to volunteer during the working week. I wanted to help because the charity does such essential work at the frontline - there is little that’s more urgent than a family needing to eat.
It’s a ‘hands-on’ volunteering role which involves packing and distributing food parcels to people who need emergency support. We offer a welcoming environment and also sign post to other agencies who can help with areas such as benefits advice.
It’s a fairly routine role, which is great because everyone knows what they’re doing. Sometimes the Foodbank gets ‘unusual’ food donations which can give us a bit of a laugh. Last year there was a mammoth donation of broccoli flavoured crisps (they tasted much better than they sound!). For weeks, we were giving out broccoli crisps with every parcel!
Our third volunteer is Michael, the chairperson of the Perth Foodbank.
In 2013 a meeting of local people decided something needed to be done about food poverty in Perth: we decided to set up a Foodbank with SCIO charity status and I was made Chairperson. I still am in 2020. Our goal is an ambitious one - to end the need for foodbanks. While we work towards it we are committed to helping to provide the best possible support and emergency food to people in crisis. Nowadays we are part of the Trussell Trust network (an anti poverty charity) which challenges the structural economic issues that lock people in poverty and campaigns for change to end hunger and poverty in the UK.
In 2013 we had to fund raise, find premises, find volunteers to help - and continue to do so. Last calendar year we received 53 tonnes of food - and distributed 53 tonnes of food. The current pandemic is likely to result in a huge increase in unemployment which will be reflected in a huge increase in the usage of Perth Foodbank.
In this photo, Michael is on the left.