Social Bite has delivered half a million food packs to Scots in need

Homeless people and those affected by the coronavirus outbreak are to receive further support, thanks to the Scottish Government.

Saturday, 8th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Food packages...Aileen Campbell finds out more from the shop floor while visiting Social Bite’s production kitchen in Livingston. (Pic: Stewart Attwood)

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell announced a £350 million package of funding in March to help tackle harms caused by the pandemic, including a £70 million Food Fund.

More than £40 million extra funding has since been committed for food initiatives, increasing the total to £110 million.

Social enterprise Social Bite has been awarded an additional £48,500 for its Covid-19 response, with its funding since April now totalling £700,000.

It has delivered 500,000 food packs to people in need in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow since April.

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder and CEO, said: “As soon as the pandemic hit, we saw that food poverty was going to be a major issue for our most vulnerable communities, so we re-purposed Social Bite’s infrastructure to provide free food for those who needed it.

“Thanks to support from the Scottish Government, the business community and the public, we were able to mobilise extremely quickly.

“Since the pandemic began, we have distributed more than 500,000 food packs.

“This funding will help us provide further support for homeless people and other vulnerable groups in our communities.”

Social Bite started as a sandwich shop on Rose Street in Edinburgh in 2012 and has grown to a national homelessness charity.

Its social enterprise consists of five shops across Scotland, two staff canteens in Edinburgh, a production kitchen in Livingston and a corporate catering businesses.

All have been re-purposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a visit to Social Bite’s central kitchen in Livingston, Aileen Campbell said: “Social Bite’s team has worked hard making and delivering meals, as well as offering a free takeaway service for those most at risk. I want to thank everyone who has supported people through this time.

“Sadly, the demand for such services highlights the terrible impact of the pandemic on people from all walks of life.”

Anyone worried about being able to access food should contact the National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.