Scottish homelessness charity Cyrenians seeks urgent sponsorship for Community Pantry service in Dunfermline

24th May 2021

For the past two years, Scottish homelessness charity Cyrenians have a run a community pantry service in Dunfermline. With no continuation funding immediately available, that service is coming to an end, leaving people without support they have come to rely on.

Cyrenians’ community pantries offer a unique, low-cost and dignified way to access a variety of foods, including chilled and fresh produce, and ambient cupboard staples. Alongside the food, people are able to develop skills and learn new recipes – during the pandemic, online and mobile chat groups helped facilitate social connection, improving mental health and wellbeing too.

Lesley Wallace from Dunfermline said: “I have been impacted financially due to Covid and will certainly miss the certainty of a meal or two. The social interaction has benefited the mental health of so many who use the service. Some people very rarely leave their homes. I was so saddened with the news that the pop-up pantry will no longer be operating - a feeling of dismay, desperation and great sadness has been felt by us all.”

Since the pandemic began, charities and community groups have seen an increase in people accessing services and needing support, with some doing so for the first time in their lives. With rising pressures on services across the third sector, alongside large funding challenges, charities like Cyrenians are feeling the strain.

Sue O’Neill-Berest, Food Education Manager, said: “We have been desperately trying to secure funding for this project for several months, and are saddened that it has come to an end.

“Community food projects like this offer people dignity and choice, and are well-placed to respond to people’s immediate needs, while helping to build community resilience. Poverty is simply unjust, and it’s up to all of us – from individuals and communities, to national governments – to respond.”

“That’s why we are appealing for support – to keep this project going, so that people like Lesley can continue to benefit from the support. If you could support this valuable community food project in Fife, you would be making a real difference to people’s lives.”

To find out more or offer financial support through your business, please contact Emma Stevens-Veitch at [email protected].

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