As Covid-19 restrictions continue to affect individuals and the economy, the Food Bank based at Stornoway Golf Club is available on Wednesdays and Saturdays 11am-2pm.

They say: “if you are in need of this service please do not hesitate to come along and speak to one of our volunteers.”

The golf club offered up the premises to the Covid-19 resilience group way back in late Feb/early March.

In mid-April, the group got back in touch about using the premises as a hub for a number of services, mainly The Salvation Army, to expand their drop-in Food Bank, and the local CAB service which were involved in packing and distributing food boxes into the community and having a manned stand at the drop-in to assist anyone in need of their advisory services.

The doors first opened to the public on Wednesday 6th May ­ in the first three hours they saw 43 people, which far exceeded expectations. Things grew quickly in terms of the numbers of people using the service, to a record day of 94.

Numbers ebb and flow yet they see many new faces each week and offer a number of tinned goods, as well as some fresh produce, household cleaning and toiletries.

The project requires a lot of hard work, led from the start by The Salvation Army officers, Callum and Emma Newton and assisted by many of their army corps members and golf club staff/members.

Many applications for grant funding were made to various sources in the third sector, Scottish government and private sector grant funds, some successful, others not.

Another huge help was the amazing generosity of the Island people who donated everything from food, baby clothes, DVDs, CDs, toys and games which helped a significant number of people’s wellbeing during lockdown.

Donations are very welcome in the aim to continue the project as long as is required. It is seen by many agencies and the public as a fantastic scheme for the whole island.

Since July, The Salvation Army in Stornoway has installed new officers, Lieutenants Christopher and Faith Thompson, who are available to provide support those who come to the Food Bank as well as assistance through the Baby Bank.

These services are both available at the Golf Club premises and continue to be a great support to those on Island at this time.

“As each month brings about new changes and restrictions, we are thankful to the many individuals who work behind the scenes to stock check, sort and deliver this service to those who need it during these times and have made this Food Bank a welcoming space where people can get the help they need.”