Diners set to help foodbank users

Diners eating out at an Aberdeenshire restaurant this month can benefit local people struggling to put food on their table.

Patrons of Balmedie’s White Horse Inn have the opportunity throughout January to add a donation to their food bill which will go towards the work of Aberdeenshire North Foodbank.

I was saddened and surprised to read of the need for foodbanks in the local area

Euan Bain White Horse Inn Proprietor

The foodbank, which has distribution centres in Ellon, Inverurie and Huntly provides emergency food parcels for individuals and families in crisis across northern Aberdeenshire.

The fundraiser has been initiated by White Horse Inn proprietor Euan Bain who said: ”In the afterglow of Christmas it is easy to lose sight of the difficulties being experienced by others.

“I was saddened and surprised to read of the need for foodbanks in the local area – you think of the north-east as being relatively affluent.

“I realised we were in a position at the White Horse in Balmedie to contribute to the needs of others in the wider community.

“The regulars are a good bunch and I am sure the initiative will be embraced by all.”

Aberdeenshire North Foodbank manager Jeannie Price said: ”We are delighted by Euan’s offer of help.

“Food donations are always very welcome but financial support enables us to shop for any specific foodstuffs we might need and to cover our running costs.”

The foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust nationwide network, saw a steep rise in use across its three distribution centres in the period from May to September last year.

Jeannie said: “People can find themselves experiencing difficulty and struggling to put food on the table for a variety of reasons - those in work on low incomes who experience an unexpected large bill or change in circumstance, can find themselves in crisis.

“We operate on a voucher system, so individuals are referred to us from front line agencies such as Gordon Rural Action or Citizens Advice, social workers or health visitors, but we would welcome new referral partners so we can continue to get help to people who need it across the area.

“We recognise it isn’t just about food though and our volunteers will help signpost clients to additional support and advice if needed.”

She added: “We are always looking for volunteers to work with us either on a weekly basis or for one-off events such as the Tesco food collections or packing Christmas hampers.”

Anyone interested in helping, whether at the Foodbank, fundraising or becoming a referral partner should contact Jeannie on 07493 044952 for more information.