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Community / New volunteers brought in to keep Shetland Foodbank open

SHETLAND Foodbank is continuing its vital service to the community albeit in far more challenging circumstances.

Food bank coordinator David Grieve said the Market Street facility is still open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons despite the fact that some staff, including himself, had to self-isolate due to health concerns or age.

Local foodbank co-ordinator David Grieve. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

Maintaining the service has only been possible thanks to a large number of new volunteers, Grieve said.

Working from home coordinating the work of the charity, Grieve said steps had been taken at the foodbank itself to ensure as much social distancing as was achievable.

“Clients and volunteer staff are always kept apart and only one client is allowed into our small reception area at a time,” he said.

“To reduce the number of clients who need to visit the foodbank we are arranging for some of the key support services that we work with, such as social work departments and the Red Cross, to hold stocks of food parcels which they can distribute for us direct to the clients.

“We also need to acknowledge the support we have had from the council who have offered us the use of a van and a driver to deliver the food parcels to these agencies.”

He said that food donations coming in to collection points had been showing significant increases until the movement restriction came in earlier this week.

“Several people who would normally donate when shopping have however made arrangements to donate money to us instead. We should be able to maintain our stocks of food but foodbank volunteers now need to do the shopping.”

He added: “Lastly, I would like to stress that Shetland Foodbank’s priority is, as it always has been, to support the most vulnerable in our community who, due to financial pressures, face a crisis that leaves them unable to buy food.

“We are not here to supply food to people who are self-isolating but can afford to buy it.  There are other ways for those people to get food.”

 

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