Dennistoun food bank branches out thanks to government grant

A social enterprise cafe will open in Dennistoun thanks to a new Scottish Government grant aimed at encouraging people to move away from their reliance on food banks.

The Everlasting Foodbank is targeting an April opening for its Freedom Cafe which will act as another arm of the organisation where people can learn and volunteer as well as get the food they need.

Yinka Ogunnoiki, who founded the food bank alongside her church the Everlasting Arms Ministry, said: “We wanted to create a volunteer run setting for people to learn how to cook and eat healthily, and do all this together, as a community.

“Of course we want to try and eradicate hunger and poverty in our local area, but there are other ways of doing this instead of just handing out food.

“It’s a progressive move. Initiatives like this actually help people and allow them to keep their dignity intact while receiving help.”

While those in need will still be able to use the bank when necessary, the café presents a chance for people to pay for food when they can and get involved with the day to day running of the venture.

The cafe will look to promote healthy eating and cooking, provide a space for people to come together to eat as a community and even learn how to grow their own food.

It will also assist in improving practical skills to help improve its volunteers CVs and educate people on the dangers of food wastage.

The money has been made available to select food banks across the country due to the government’s concerted effort to tackle food poverty.

SNP councillor for the area Jennifer Dunn said: “The Everlasting Arms has been a very visible and active presence in Dennistoun over the last few years.

“It’s great that the Scottish Government have recognised this and chosen to support the project.”

The organisers are hoping people who do not always use the food bank service will feel more comfortable getting involved with this enterprise.

Ms Ogunnoiki said: “Elderly people rarely want to ask for our help.

“Sometimes they are too proud to come to us, even when they are in need.

“If they know they can contribute their knowledge and skills to benefit the community while using our service, they will be happier to get involved.

“This way, they will actually want to come instead of just having to.”

 

Photo: Graeme Maclean

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