Over the past six months, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partners have been working together through the OHCPP’s Anti-Poverty Strategy Group and with food charity FareShare, to bring additional food to the islands on a regular basis.
The food is transported in FareShare vans and taken to Stornoway by CalMac at no charge and is stored at the local Citizens Advice Bureau Office, also at no charge, and distributed by various agencies during the course of their usual work duties.
Councnillor Angus McCormack, Chair of the OHCPP Anti-Poverty Strategy Group said: “We acknowledge the efforts of our partners in bringing food to the islands and the distribution of that food to families most in need, and particularly the role of CalMac and CAB in that emergency service. These are extraordinary times, impacting on lives and livelihoods, especially those in poverty and this is a vital service that can help families at this particularly challenging time”.
Steve Hankinson, Strategy Manager at the Citizens Advice Bureau said: “This is a great example of several services working together to get much needed help quickly to all parts of the Islands. This support is completely confidential and has helped over 500 people so far and the demand is rising due to COVID-19.
"FareShare have agreed to send us more supplies and more frequent deliveries have been arranged.
"If you would like any help, know of someone who might also benefit or are part of a Community Group helping others: please call us on 01851 705727.
"Please remember that this help is for all parts of the Western Isles and is completely confidential.”
The OHCPP’s Anti-Poverty Strategy Group consists of representatives from the Comhairle, Tighean Innse Gall, Department for Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland, Hebridean Housing Partnership, Community Energy Scotland, Job Centre Plus, NHS Eilean Siar, and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.