Ever since the West Lothian Foodbank opened in November 2012, the service has expanded to meet the pent up demand for food aid to this community outside of Edinburgh. It is already becoming one of the fastest growing aid networks in this central Scotland region.
Broad community support is what makes this effort so successful. There are a number of local business partners along with strong support from Pears Foundation.
Several churches have signed on to provide resources, which has in turn increased the number of volunteers that participate weekly in food collection and distribution. Whitburn Penticostal Church was the first local church to lend a hand. Dedridge Baptist Church signed on as a distribution centre while Livingston Free Church is a drop off point. Other churches include St John’s Evangelical Church and Broxburn Parish Church.
West Lothian residents, including tenants and homeowners may obtain a parcel to cover three day’s worth of nonperishable food items. A referral from a local aid organisation is required. This ensures that those who are receiving food are also meeting with aid workers to address the primary reason for their current financial situation.
Reasons for the need are many in West Lothian. They include job cuts, reduced funding for local welfare programmes and even the unpopular bedroom tax. Those who are approved for benefits may have to incur debt while they wait through the delays in actually receiving the funding. In many cases it is the children who suffer. Stories of parents doing without food just to try and feed their children are becoming more common.
Residents may enquire about receiving aid by calling 01501 229307. Up-to-date information on hours and days of operation will be available for these distribution centres.
- Bathgate: St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 79 Glasgow Road
- Boghall: Boghall Church of Scotland, Elizabeth Drive
- Broxburn: Broxburn Baptist Church, Freeland Ave
- Linlithgow: Cross House, The Cross
- Livingston Old Parish Church of Scotland, St Andrew’s, 4A Main Street, Deans
- Dedridge Baptist Church, Quentin Rise, Dedridge
- Whitburn: 33 Market Place
A voucher is required to receive aid. Volunteers are happy to direct residents to referring organisations and agencies that can issue the vouchers and assist with money advice or help with benefit applications.