THE COMMUNITY FOOD INITIATIVE
Open every Wednesday between 12 noon and 2 pm.
The Church is also open every Sunday between 11am and 12 noon for anyone needing the service outside these times
WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY FOOD INITIATIVE ?
St Salvador’s Community Food Initiative started in December 2012 and is open to anyone (families or individuals) experiencing financial difficulties or going through a crisis.
HOW IT WORKS
We give out bags containing dry and tinned food and other basic items. Those receiving a bag are asked to give their name, address and any other relevant details. Some people are able to make a donation to help fund the project – but it is not necessary.
Tea and coffee are available at the Wednesday openings as well as the opportunity to chat, meet new people and gain information about other local support services.
If you would like to find out more or to support the Food Initiative in some way, please get in touch. And if you know anyone who could benefit from this service, please encourage them to come along to our Wednesday opening.
This initiative is funded from St Salvador’s resources with help from other local churches and individual donations.
Charity Ref No SCO13329
Update – September 2017
The Food Bank is now back to its normal Wednesday Opening after the reduced opening times during July and August.
Our new Co-Ordinator is Dorothy Jones who has taken over from Nicola prior to her retirement from St Salvador’s at the end of the month. All good wishes to Dorothy and the volunteers for the way ahead.
We continue to be grateful to the congregations of St Martin’s, Dalry Road and St Mary’s, Dalmahoy for their ongoing support in the form of donations of food and other items. This is a huge help to the running of this small project.
Update – November 2016
The Food Bank has been back in action with its regular Wednesday Opening 12-2pm since the start of September and we have welcomed some new people who have come our way since then.
We were very grateful for a wonderful Harvest Donation of all sorts of different food items from Stenhouse Primary School. We shared some of the many bags with the Salvation Army based in Gorgie Road who run a much bigger Food Bank. We also received a cash donation from PA Advocacy which has helped with the various expenses connected with this project. Another lovely harvest gift.
We have also welcomed a new volunteer, Dorothy who is a great addition to the team.
Continued thanks go to St Martin’s, Gorgie Road and St Mary’s Dalmahoy for their regular donations of food and other items.
Update – June 2016
Here we are in June after a busy year of Wednesday openings when we made many new contacts within the locality and built up new relationships. Our food bank has kept going thanks to regular donations of food from St Martins and St Mary’s Dalmahoy. We also received some cash donations around Harvest last year which also helped to support and sustain this project. We also owe a big thank you to our volunteers.
During July and August, we shall not be opening on Wednesdays, but anyone needing the service can come along on Sundays between 11 am and 12 noon to receive a bag of food. We have had to make this change because our Volunteers need to take a holiday and/or are involved with family during the school holidays.
We will back to our usual routine of Wednesday openings in September.
Update – September 2015
We are back after the Summer to our weekly opening – every Wednesday 12-2pm Looking forward to seeing some of our friends and helpers and to building new relationships within the community.
Update – April 2015
Long time – no update!! but our Food Initiative is still very much on the go!
We continue to operate on a weekly basis and have built up a number of good relationships with local organisations in the area and with the many people who continue to come our way. The chat over a cup of tea/coffee is also an important dimension.
Our project has now become a satellite of the large Food Bank operated by The Salvation Army in Gorgie Road. They refer folk to us and have supported our project in a variety of ways including a donation of tins of soup.
We continue to be grateful to the congregation of St Martins for their regular donations of food and other items.
In June, we received a huge donation of food from Franklin Templeton Investment Managers. They had contacted The Edinburgh Volunteer Centre to ask for advice and information on Food Banks in Edinburgh and spoke to Julie Golding who had recently completed a placement with us. She mentioned St Salvador’s Food Initiative and things fell into place from there. I was contacted by Barbara McFarlane of Franklin Templeton, who was co-ordinating the donation (which was actually to be made up of individual donations from employees working in the Edinburgh office). She wanted to know what sort of food items were required and to fix a delivery date.
When the delivery day arrived, Barbara warned me that I might need some help with the unloading. In the event, their very helpful female courier gave a much needed helping hand and we managed to stack everything into the church kitchen, ready for sorting at a later date.
We are extremely grateful for this very generous donation and would like to send a special thank you to all the Franklin Templeton Staff who took the trouble to head off to the supermarket and come back with bagfuls of food and other items to donate to our project.
Running a small food bank like ours, means that it is always difficult to match supply and demand. On some days when we are open, the store cupboard gets emptied really quickly. Now, thanks to Franklin Templeton’s kindness, we have good supplies for the coming months and can even help out other organisations in the locality who meet up with people experiencing financial difficulties and other problems. Thank you indeed!
Update – May 2014
We continue to be grateful for the generous donations of food which come in to us on a regular basis. Special thanks go to The Church of the Good Shepherd for the many bags which came our way following their food collection during Lent.
On Wednesday 11th June, we look forward to attending the Edinburgh Food Banks Networking Event at Norton Park Conference Centre and meeting up with other other organisations who are currently providing a similar service.
Over the Summer months, we will again run the service on a fortnightly basis. Anyone needing food outside the official opening times can always come along on a Sunday morning.
Watch this space!!
Update – February 2014
The Food Initiative continues to run on a weekly basis (Wednesdays 12noon – 2pm) and we are grateful to all the volunteers who continue to look after the store cupboard, pack the bags and make the tea and coffee week by week.
Over the months we have built up some good relationships with organisations working in the area and with individuals who have all helped this project on its way.
We currently give out 12 – 15 bags of food each week but equally important are the conversations and the sharing of stories and ideas over a cup of tea.
We intend to continue this service into the new year and welcome all suggestions as to how we might develop so as to reach the needs of more people in the community.
Update – October 2013
Our Community Food Initiative is now back to operating on a weekly basis – we went fortnightly over the Summer – and is open every Wednesday 12 noon to 2pm.
We have been overwhelmed recently by the generosity of some local churches who have donated tins, dried goods and a host of other food items as a way of marking their Harvest Thanksgiving celebrations. We are extremely grateful. The store cupboard is now overflowing -cornucopia style! We are also very thankful for the financial donations which have come to us from special Harvest collections.
Having been given so much, we are now doubling our efforts to reach those people who could really benefit from our service. We have been in touch with some local groups and specialist organisations whose work brings them into contact with people in vulnerable and crisis situations and hope that this, together with our current client network, will help us to reach folk who are in real need at the moment.
One of the benefits of the service is the conversation that goes on between everyone whether bagging up food, sharing a cup of tea or just dropping in to see what it is all about. Our initiative seeks to be as much about socialising and lessening isolation as it is about offering a free bag of food. We can do both!!
Update – July 2013
More people have discovered the Food Initiative over the last 2 months and have made their way to the Wednesday opening. Some weeks have been quite quiet and others very busy. On one occasion, when stocks were running low, we were thrilled to welcome the arrival of a very generous donation of food and other items from St Mary’s Dalmahoy St Mary’s put out a collection box at their morning service on the first Sunday of the month and the donated items, along with those from St Martins are a vital resource in helping to maintain this initiative. We are very grateful for the generosity of both these congregations.
In recent weeks it has been very rewarding to hear some good news stories from one or two folk who have used the food initiative. Finding a job after a very difficult period was definitely a good news story as was the move to a new tenancy and achieving a part time job. We really appreciate it when people take the trouble (and pay the bus fares!) to come back and tell us how things are going.
Although we will be running the service on a fortnightly basis over the Summer, we hope that everyone who needs the service will manage to get to us (either on the Wednesday lunchtime or Sunday morning opening).
Update – May 2013
Our Food Initiative has now been running for 6 months and over recent weeks things have begun to develop in a number of ways – which explains why I have not found the time to update our website!!
So what has been happening?
After a bit of a slow start in the early days, we are now handing out an average of 10 – 12 bags of food per week. Some are made up for people living on their own (small bags of pasta, rice and tea bags etc) and some designed for families. We always include a soup pack and focus on healthy items but without being too ‘worthy’ – wee chocolate eggs somehow found their way in over the Easter period!
Recently a number of elderly folk who go to a lunch club at the community centre have made it over the road to give a donation in exchange for a ‘goody’ bag either for themselves or a less mobile friend. It clearly saves them the complicated and often confusing journey to the supermarket.
Up to now, the project has been funded from St Salvador’s church resources and with the help of donations from clients. Donations of food and other items (e.g.soap powder, shower gel, shampoo etc) have also helped keep things going. Recently a member of the congregation of St Martin’s in Dalry heard about the initiative and wanted to do something. With the agreement of their Vestry, she has now set up a collection box for church members to drop in that extra item (bought specially for someone in need) when doing the weekly shop. This has a been a wonderful boost to us, not only as a way of resourcing the project but also because it speaks to us of shared commitment and ‘active’ prayes.
This initiative has been kept going with the help of some members of the congregation and by two wonderful volunteers who were
brave enough to turn up during the early days and have stayed with us ever since, helping to measure out dry goods and pack the bags. We have also gained a volunteer gardener who joined us earlier this year. Having spent some time digging up the weeds, she has now planted flowers and vegetables which hopefully will make their way into the food bags during the summer months.
This Sunday, Pentecost, was originally a festival of thanksgiving for the first fruits of the harvest. For us it will be an opportunity to celebrate the first fruits of the Food Initiative. Everyone will bring a gift or food item and these will join the St Martin’s box and other donations around the altar – tangible signs of the coming the Spirit and new life in the local community.