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The new van is allowing the foodbank to increase its intake and distribution.

Stornoway Golf Club has purchased a new van to help with its foodbank project. 

Bought thanks to a £12,000 capital grant from NHS Western Isles, the van will enable the club to collect donations and purchases for the foodbank from a wider area, including wholesalers on the mainland, as well as deliver to those unable to reach the golf club site. 

Iain Macdonald from Stornoway Golf Club said the van made a major difference to the club and was in constant use.

“We get pick-ups at 9pm each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from Tesco of the waste food. We do the shop for the fresh and frozen each Monday and Thursday for the public openings on Tuesday and Fridays. We also use it daily to go and retrieve donations that can come in from various sources like Cal Mac, private, and churches, to name but a few," Mr Macdonald said. 

“On the output side, we are out delivering all over the island, with referrals from any agency, from social work to the Salvation Army. We also deliver to help out those elderly or infirm and can't make it to the Golf Club on any given day.

“I’d like to thank NHS Western Isles for making this all possible.”

Stornoway Golf Club started the foodbank project at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with club management and staff assisting the local Salvation Army and Citizen's Advice Bureau to establish a supermarket style drop-in foodbank and a food distribution network to communities across the Western Isles.

Between May and June 2020, the footfall at the foodbank reached 20,000 people, at which point it changed to a food club. Since the pandemic began, the food bank has packed and distributed approximately 2,700 boxes to all parts of the Western Isles.  

Gillian McCannon, NHS Western Isles Chair, said: “It is vitally important that NHS Western Isles has been able to support such an important lifeline for many people who find themselves in a difficult position. 

“NHS Western Isles has an overarching role to support our communities to help maintain their health, it is also important that we work collaboratively with different partner agencies to ensure that we can all support the people within our communities.

“It is a positive step, and NHS Western Isles is delighted that we have been able to support this project. My thanks go to all the people involved in this initiative for making it successful.”