Eyemouth High pupils set up food bank help

Three Eyemouth High School pupils have joined the fight against poverty in Berwickshire by setting up a Food Bank Group at the school.

Jack Young, Ali Gibson and Faizan Sindhoo set up the group in October last year to help support local people who are experiencing hardship.

Jack and Ali explain: “We wanted to help families having a tough time in Berwickshire.

“We have friends who have been in receipt of food parcels and understand how essential they are.

“We meet every Thursday lunch time in school. We have raised money to buy collection boxes and advertise the collection points in school.

“We have given a presentation at an assembly and handed out ‘shopping lists’ of items the Berwickshire Food Bank needs. We also respond to emails from the organisers of the Food Bank when they are short of items or have a special request.”

Faizan added: “There has been no decline in the number of families needing food items from the Food Bank. We are always grateful for any donated food items for our collection points in school, just asking that any donations are non-perishable.

“The project is quite a commitment and it does take some work to co-ordinate and organise everything, but we feel this is a worthwhile way of giving something back to people in our community who are struggling to meet their basic needs.”

When the Duns based food bank started up at the end of 2012 Charles Swan, said: “All our parcels are allocated by referral from agencies like Berwickshire Housing Association, SSAFA (the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association), the Eyemouth Family Centre and Scottish mental health charity Penumbra.

“There is no self referral, but our forms allow us to provide a food box tailored to the household we’re helping.”

A number of local churches are part of the scheme, including St Ebbas in Eyemouth and Southview Evangelical Church in Chirnside. St Andrews in Berwick and the episcopal church in Coldstream are also involved in similar food banks.

Duns Parish Church is open each Friday to accept food parcels, while monetary donations also go towards making up a parcel that could make all the difference to a struggling household.

For more information, contact dunsfoodbank@aol.com.