The donors and volunteers that contribute to the food banks of Aberdeenshire understand the types of struggles that local citizens endure. They see people from all backgrounds that have fallen on hard times.
While some criticise the rise of food banks as proof of government’s failure, Better Together praised the “human compassion, faith and social cohesion” that these organisations represent. Aberdeenshire indeed has substantial community support for the food pantries that serve the area’s poor and those in difficult temporary situations.
To better serve those who might have difficulty travelling, several food banks have set up operations in the different sections of the county. These organisations can provide free food parcels to families who need help.
- Aboyne is served by a satellite location of the Aberdeenshire South Foodbank. The organisation provides Emergency Food Boxes to this centre to help those who live in surrounding rural areas. Enquiries on 07926 969408 can confirm details for a pickup.
- In Banchory the Aberdeenshire South Foodbank is hosted by Banchory West Church on High Street. Access to the annexe is through the iron fence on Mount Street. Residents holding a red voucher should call 07926 969408 to confirm hours, which are normally Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1.00pm to 3.00pm. This organisation is a Trussell Trust charity affiliate. It is part of a national network of food pantries that each serve a local population.
- The Banff Harvest Centre is a service of Riverside Christian Church. Due to expansion, a call on 01261 815790 is recommended to confirm the current location and hours. As one of the longest operating food aid charities in Britain, this organisation has been providing aid to local people since 2004.
- Bethany Christian Trust is located in the city of Aberdeen. The charity supports thousands of families per year and offers a number of services. Not only will they serve a free hot meal or provide a parcel of food, but a Care Van that is operated by volunteers can provide other assistance ranging from clothing to information on welfare. Find more information on how to get help from Bethany Christian Trust.
- In Ellon a new distribution centre was initiated by Aberdeenshire North Foodbank. The Ellon Foodbank Centre is located on Annand Avenue at the Auchterellon Pavilion. Due to the limited hours, a response on 07562 914986 to confirm hours of operation may be preferred to a drop in visit.
- In Huntly the Foodbank Centre was just opened in December 2014. This location on 55 Gordon Street is administered by Aberdeenshire North Foodbank and is run by volunteers. Much of the early support has been provided by Huntly Cairnie Glass Church. People that would like to arrange to pick up a free food parcel may want to call on 07479 954746 to confirm the days and hours that the centre is open. Visitors may wish to enter the centre from Torry Street.
- Inverbervie is the site of the Bervie Foodbank which opened in 2014. It is stocked by community donations throughout the Royal Burgh. This is a satellite location for Aberdeenshire South Foodbank which was opened to better serve local citizens who may find it difficult to travel to other locations. The location is 13 King Street at The Paper Shop. Enquiries may be made by calling the main location on 07926 969408.
- The Inverurie Foodbank Centre is the primary distribution centre for Aberdeenshire North Foodbank. This facility serves as the headquarters for the local affiliate of the Trussell Trust and is located on Harlaw Road. Calls on 07967 364600 can confirm operating times and days.
- Peterhead is served by two organisations. Apex Church operates Joseph Store from the Broad Street cafe. Enquiries may be made by emailing [email protected] The Salvation Army administers the Shield Project to provide emergency food assistance for those who have experienced a recent tragedy or hardship, particularly when they are threatened with homelessness. Visitors may wish to call on 01224 496002 to confirm the location for a pickup.
- The Stonehaven satellite office is a distribution centre established by Aberdeenshire South Foodbank. This location serves the Kincardine and Mearns area and is operated by volunteers. Arrangements to obtain a food parcel can be made by calling on 07926 969408.
Each of these locations is operated by volunteers for the benefit of local people who find it difficult to pay for food due to a hardship. A referral is required, meaning that any recipients of the free food aid must first contact a local care organisation or professional to receive a voucher. The purpose of this referral is to ensure that people are getting the help they need in addition to the donated food items.
Each household gets the benefit of nutritional aid in addition to money advice surgeries or medical care. By requiring a referral from a proper aid organisation, staff can be sure that fewer people seek refuge from their problems by consulting with solicitors or high cost lenders.