Volunteers are at the sharp end of poverty

Presentation of McLaren Trophy to the Storehouse Project.
Presentation of McLaren Trophy to the Storehouse Project.

A project which provides food for those who can’t afford it has been recognised with a community award.

The Storehouse Foodbank, at Links Court, Bo’ness, received the McLaren Trophy for its work in the local area.

The trophy is presented in memory of John McLaren, who was the first secretary of Bo’ness Community Council 38 years ago as well as a reporter on the Bo’ness Journal.

When he died it was decided an award would be presented as a fitting memorial.

Storehouse was started in September 2012 by Mike Munro after he learned about a similar project in St. Andrew’s for people in need.

He decided to set up a similar project locally, which he did with the help of Bo’ness Churches Together.

Now Storehouse chairman, Mike said: “Over the past year, Storehouse supplied food to 71 different homes in the town, amounting to 1364 food parcels.

“In February of this year, Storehouse was invited to take part in a national conference on food poverty organised by NHS Scotland Community and Welfare Health.

“It was used as a case study as it is unique. It’s not attached to any national foodbank and was set up by people from local churches getting together.

“Receiving the McLaren Trophy for our contribution to the local community was of great encouragement to us – it’s good to be recognised for all the work that goes in to the food project.”

As well as donation trolleys in Tesco and Lidl, there are collections in local schools.

Pupils at Bo’ness Academy also sell food donated by Bakkavor (Caledonian Produce) to teachers and staff, with the money being used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

A recent dress-down day at the school, where pupils brought food in return for not wearing school uniform amassed 865 items.