For the past three years a group of retired volunteers have given up their time to deliver food to the people in Bo’ness who need it most.
Mike Munro (67) was in St Andrews a few years ago and discovered that there was talk of setting up a food bank to help people in the town.
He said: “I was shocked that a place as affluent as St Andrews needed a food bank.
“It made me wonder if people in Bo’ness needed one so I began setting it up.”
The Bo’ness Storehouse Foodbank SCIO was created in September 2012, and Mike and his team of 12 volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure as many people as possible are given food when they are in need of help.
Mike explained the many ways people can donate.
He said: “We have collection points in all the schools and churches in the area as well as a collection point in Tesco.”
The amount donated by the community has overwhelmed the charity.
Mike said: “Sometimes the Tesco collection has to be emptied twice a week, occasionally even more than that.
“The response from the people in Bo’ness has been amazing. Not one week since we started this charity have we not had enough food to deliver.”
The donations are collected and taken to the charity’s base in the industrial estate in Links Court where the team sort the food before delivering it themselves.
Mike believes that it is far easier for the charity to deliver the food rather than have people come to them.
He said: “It would be unfair of us to ask people to walk from the other side of town and then walk home with a bag full of food. So we just deliver it ourselves and it gives us a chance to build relationships with people in need.”
The Storehouse food bank relies on referrals from the council and other charity organisations including the Salvation Army.
Mike explained just how important working together is. He said: “Without the support of other organisations we would not be able to help as many people as we do.
“The information is passed on to us and we work hard to make sure they are given food to help them through the difficult time.”
The charity helps people in many different situations, from those unemployed to people having trouble with their benefits.
At Christmas time the Salvation Army and the Storehouse work together, delivering toys and food to families.
Tom Dunham, lieutenant of the Salvation Army in Bo’ness, said: “It is so important that these care organisations work together. “We can do a lot more working as a team rather than individual charities and offer better support for those that desire it.”
In 2015 the food bank delivered 56 Christmas hampers to families across Bo’ness and helped deliver the toys from the Salvation Army’s appeal.
The Storehouse also aims to go beyond just being a food bank.
If a volunteer notices a person is struggling with other issues, they will tell them where they can find support.
Mike said: “That is the point, to help people.
“We do a lot more than just deliver food.”
More information is available at the charity’s website, bonessstorehouse.org.uk.