FOR pensioner Sheila Rattray a community food project has proved a real Godsend.
Sheila, from Mosstodloch, is main carer to her 90-year-old mum Bathia Simpson.
Time to go shopping is limited so having Community Food Moray (CFM) on her doorstep has made life much easier.
The social enterprise provides affordable fruit and veg to the local community.
"I put in an order once a week and come in and collect it," said Sheila. "I am a carer for my mum so this has been a Godsend.
"They are so obliging here and if there is anything they don’t have they will deliver it later on," she added.
"I use a lot of fruit and veg but don’t have much time to go shopping.
"This has been a great asset to me and I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t there. A lot of people in the village use it."
The main base in Mosstodloch has been extended to opening five mornings a week, compared to just two when it started.
Through a network of volunteers, CFM has also provided 15 other food outlets across Moray over the last year.
And with £47,000 in funding from the European Leader programme, it will extend the service to more rural areas of Moray under the banner of ‘Taste no Waste’, urging people to only order what they need and avoid food waste.
With the extra funding and ploughing profits back into the enterprise, it will also look to employ four local people in the roles of cook, assistant, admin support and store supervisor.
Development manager Jo Roberts said: "We are a social enterprise and here for the benefit of the whole of Moray.
"Our primary aim is to source local products as much as possible and support the Moray economy.
"We do a lot of work with young mums and Moray Women’s Aid and various other community groups."
CFM is also now supporting homeless people by providing them with food packs and has so far helped 20 people.
Referrals must come through the social work department or other agencies.
At a time when a person is in crisis and living in temporary accommodation, feeding themselves properly is perhaps not top of the agenda.
"At that stage the last thing people think about is ‘I need to eat healthy’ and we are quite literally giving it to them on a plate," added Jo.
A homeless person can either receive a fruit and veg box, soup-making pack, baked potato pack or cous cous and salad.
The project invited local over-60s in for a bowl of soup and a chat at its headquarters in Mosstodloch.
It also used the session to promote the Moray Handy Person Service, which sees volunteers carry out small jobs around the home and garden for people.
In conjunction with the Moray Community Health and Social Care Partnership, it is promoting a Connect Project to establish what services already exist in local communities and what people would like to see.
The project has been part funded by the Scottish Government and European Community Moray Leader programme.
More information on the CFM project is available online at www.communityfoodmoray.co.uk