A story from one of the volunteers that helps with Edinburgh NE Foodbank.
"When I retired a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to do some sort of voluntary work but could not find anything I felt was right for me. When I heard in church that volunteers were wanted to help with the foodbank I knew straight away that this was the type of thing I wanted to do. After the first meeting with all the volunteers and the representative from the Trussel Trust I was even more interested and quite frankly could not wait to get started. I felt this was something that was desparately needed in Leith as I had heard that there were hundreds of people in Leith living below the poverty line.
I am very sad that in this day and age foodbanks are necessary but if people need to be fed, I am happy to use my time and all my efforts to help each and every one of them.
The people who come to the foodbank are lovely. They are caring and sharing people. If there is something they don't want or cannot eat or use it is not unusual to hear them offering that item to someone who is sitting nearby or they tell us to hold on to it and give it to someone else. They enjoy their cup of tea and a biscuit, but most of all I think an awful lot of them enjoy the chat. They tell us about their families, whether estranged or not, about their lives, where they live and one chap even brought a photo of his three girls so that we could admire them.
I feel privileged that these people are prepared to share their stories with me and the other members of the team. We try to keep the atmosphere in the foodbank lighthearted but sometimes we do have tears so we have a couple of boxes of tissue at the ready. Sometimes a person is so overwhelmed at being given food and the worry of feeding their family for at least a few days being removed, that tears flow.
It is lovely when we have someone tell us that they have just secured a job and just need the food to keep them going until they get their first pay packet. We have had people coming back to tell us that they have just been told they have a job or that they have had their disability benefit sorted out and for these people to take the time and trouble to come back and tell us their good news is wonderful.
I never manage to sleep well after I have been at the foodbank. I pray for all the people who have passed through our doors that day and every day. I wonder what will become of them, if the information we have provided regarding free or cheap places to eat or where they might get a bit of financial help will be of help to them or could I have done any more.
I feel privileged to have been asked to help. When I go home after my time at the foodbank and sit down to a hot meal in a warm and dry place with my family only a few minutes away I thank God for that. I hope I can continue to help for as long as I am needed.
I would also like to thank everyone who donates food, toiletries and money to the foodbank because without all of these kindhearted people our task would be so much harder."
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