a charity that provides a nutritionally balanced food supply for people who for whatever reason are suffering from financial problems.
The Society spoke to Ewan Gurr of Dundee Foodbank ahead of the visit, to find out exactly what the charity does and how they got involved in this year’s Community initiative. "This came about when a Dundee Fan who works with The Citizens Advice Bureau saw the charity work done by Jacqui Robertson last season. We get a lot of referrals from CAB, so when we were told of this Initiative and invited to take part by Jacqui, we were delighted to accept.
"The Dundee Foodbank is, along with the Highland Foodbank, the oldest Trussells Trust Foodbank in Scotland, having been running for seven years now. We are a Scottish charity that provides emergency food relief to individuals and families experiencing financial hardship in and around Dundee. We provide three to five days of nutritionally balanced food to people who have been referred by local statutory services such as social work, welfare rights, criminal justice, housing support and various other statutory agencies.
"Since January, we have provided for around 1,800 households, although that number is expected to rise to around 3,000 before the end of the year. We are already the busiest of the thirteen Foodbanks in Scotland. That is not to say that Dundee has the biggest problems, statistically, there are places worse off, but as we are more established than, say the Glasgow Foodbank, we experience a higher volume of service users. The majority are short term, one time service users, although with redundancies, it may take 12 weeks for benefits to be sorted, so those people will be using the service for possibly 12 weeks.
"All the food we provide is donated; churches, schools and other charities help us a lot, and last Saturday we visited two Tesco stores in Dundee and generally made people aware of what we did, and handed out our ‘shopping list’. Shoppers then had a chance to read a bit about us as they shopped, with many deciding to donate one or two things from the list, resulting in donations of 1.2 tonnes of goods for us, which was fantastic. This week, thanks to Jacqui and the Supporters' Society, we get the chance to speak to people who generally prefer to do something other than visit a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon, so this is a great opportunity to spread the word.
"The success of last week’s supermarket day has shown that the people of Dundee are extremely generous, and Dundee Fans are no different. We would hope to speak to people who maybe are not aware of what we do - the more who know about us, the better. Dundee FC and the Supporters' Society have shown what can be done; welcoming local charities to the stadium on match days is a great idea, and one that can only benefit the local community as a whole.
"To maintain the level of service we provide, it is important that we spread the word, and this visit gives us an excellent platform to spread the word. As the Society fly the flag for charities, maybe this is something other football clubs should be looking on, and taking inspiration from, and at Dundee Foodbank, we applaud the Society in their charity work, and obviously thank them for this opportunity."
The Dundee FC Supporters' Society look forward to welcoming Dundee Foodbank to Dens Park this weekend and we hope the day is successful. The Society would also like to ask fans who wish to donate not to bring any donations to the game on Saturday, but to donate directly to Dundee Foodbank. Anyone wishing to do so can drop in to the facility on Constitution Street or email Dundee Foodbank. Alternatively you can visit either the Dundee Foodbank website, or facebook page for more information.
Source: Dundee Mad