NatWest Group and The Scotsman newspaper have issued a call for businesses to donate any non-perishable food and hygiene products they can spare to the bank’s new food distribution centre in Edinburgh to help keep two food poverty charities well-stocked during the coronavirus crisis.
The bank, which has its head office at Gogarburn, is supporting the Trussell Trust and its network of food banks in Scotland, and Social Bite, a charity which is aiming to provide 4,000 food packs a day over the next three months for vulnerable people in Scotland, in sourcing and distributing much-needed food and hygiene supplies.
The temporary drop-off and distribution centre is now ready to accept donations of non-perishable foods and hygiene products to meet the unprecedented increase in demand the two charities are currently facing.
Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland, said:
“This is a challenging time for everyone in Scotland and we are delighted to work with The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, the Trussell Trust and Social Bite to help make a difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“This is a time when everyone can work together to help support each other and we are calling on the public and companies who have the time or the resource and to get involved.
“Our Gogarburn Conference Centre will become a temporary food distribution centre for the Trussell Trust and Social Bite, with many of our colleagues volunteering their time to support and help these groups reach as many deserving people and families as possible.”
Josh Littlejohn MBE, Co-Founder of Social Bite, said:
"People who are homeless or in food poverty need support more now than ever. We are proud to be working with the teams on this initiative to help donated items reach those most in need.
“Social Bite are also raising funds for our production and distribution of 4,000 free fresh meals every day for the next three months, which is especially important for those who aren't able to prepare and heat food - please donate if you can."
Laura Ferguson, Operations Manager for Scotland at the Trussell Trust, said:
"As the coronavirus pandemic develops, we are working closely with our food banks to support them to continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food for people in crisis.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support from NatWest Group which helps us remain agile to respond to the changing situation and deploy resources to support people who don’t have enough money for the essentials throughout this time. We couldn’t continue to do what we do without this kind of support.”
NatWest Group’s catering contractors Baxter Storey and Benugo have already pledged to donate food from the bank’s kitchens.
Any business or organisation that can safely transport supplies to Gogarburn is being called upon to support the national effort to keep vulnerable people fed.
The bank is operating a drive-in donation system to ensure the safety for volunteers and those coming on its site to donate.
It will be staffed by volunteers from the bank who will be kitted out with personal proactive equipment (PPE) to ensure their own safety and that of others.
Items needed by the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks and Social Bite include:
Tinned tomatoes/pasta sauce
Tinned or dried lentils, beans and pulses
Tinned fruit and vegetables
Crackers and biscuits
Tea and coffee
Long life milk and fruit juice
Soap, hand wash, gloves, masks, toilet roll and other toiletries
How to donate
The Conference Centre distribution centre will be open 7am to 7pm every day. It can be found at 175 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, EH12 9SB.
To contact Royal Bank of Scotland about dropping off food, please email Douglas Bain on Douglas.Bain@rbs.co.uk.