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North Ayrshire Foodbank support reaches milestone

North Ayrshire Foodbank's chef creating meals

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown in March, North Ayrshire Foodbank has seen demand for meals grow significantly, often quadrupling.

At one point the charity expected numbers to rise from the average 300 meals to 2,500 a week, and is still providing between 800 and 1,000 meals to the most vulnerable in the area.

While regular donations increased, including those from local supermarkets, the support it received from two organisations helped it through the first four months.

Community Windpower, which owns the Dalry and Millour Hill Community Wind Farms, has provided £1,000 of meat for more than 14 weeks, enabling approximately 20,000 meals to be prepared.

This is in addition to the £5,000 provided by the Dalry Parish Boundary Trust, which manages the community benefit fund from the Millour Hill Community Wind Farms.

Both donations are part of a £255,000 Covid-19 crisis fund that Community Windpower set up in March to support communities around its seven operational wind farms in Scotland.

Craig Crosthwaite, North Ayrshire Foodbank’s coordinator, based in Ardrossan's Church of Nazarene said: “I’m overwhelmed at how the community has come together at this critical time to help those who are in most need of our support.

“Community Windpower and the Dalry Parish Boundary Trust’s support has been invaluable to help us make healthy, nutritious and warm meals including curries, pasta dishes and stews, alongside vegetarian options.

“We’re continually working with local authorities and other charitable organisations to reach as many people as possible, particularly the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The donations we’re receiving from the likes of Community Windpower, local supermarkets, Dalry Parish Boundary Trust and other food outlets clearly demonstrate what a fantastic community spirit we have here, and we know this will continue beyond the end of this terrible situation.

“The fact we’ve provided in excess of 20,000 meals alone, clearly demonstrates the impact Covid-19 has had on the people of North Ayrshire, and we’re continuing to support them when they most need it.

“We are operating and budgeting to ensure we do not get unnecessary funds or supplies, managing the flow so we make the most of everything the community provides.”

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, said: “When we first set up our Covid-19 crisis fund we knew there was a significant number of people who needed help but, the fact North Ayrshire Foodbank has provided 20,000 meals and counting, it shows just how much our fund has helped people.

“We’re living in worrying and unprecedented times for everyone and, as with other organisations and people, we’re digging deep and help people in communities that are being negatively impacted by this Covid-19 crisis.

“Our support to local communities still continues through our community benefit funds, but our Covid-19 crisis fund is specifically helping people impacted by the pandemic.

“We’ve done this to ensure the money we provide reaches those who need it most.”

For more information on the North Ayrshire fund, applications should contact John Smith at the Dalry Parish Boundary Trust on 07768 017 864 or email jsmithbirkentop@btinternet.com.

Further information can be found at www.communitywindpower.co.uk/covid19

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