EFFORTS to offer help to more people living in food poverty in Moray struggling to make ends meet are being driven forward.
A national Christian charity which currently operates 300 food banks in the UK is bringing people together next week to discuss the move.
With an estimated 8,500 men, women and children in Moray living below the poverty line – 10% of the population – they could all be at risk of food poverty.
The Trussell Trust will be involved in a meeting on Monday night to look at how it and Community Food Moray (CFM), which operates an existing food bank, can work together.
CFM provides support for people in crisis. It has already held positive discussions this week with individuals keen to enhance the service amid fears that UK welfare reforms will put more people below the poverty line.
The Rev Colin Morison, minister of the Elgin and Forres Free Churches, and local businessman Neil Urquhart are behind the approach to the Trussell Trust. Murray Geddes, of Elgin Baptist Church, is also on board at this stage.
Mr Morison said: “It is often a choice between paying bills and putting food on the table for some folk.”
He paid tribute to the work already done by Community Food Moray, and hopes Monday’s meeting can enhance the service provided to people in need. The charity has leased part of the former Moray Music Centre in Elgin which, he said, could be a possible food bank centre.
“I have no doubt people, when they are made aware of the situation, will rise to the challenge and help where they can,” added Mr Morison. “Community Food Moray have started something which hopefully we can support and promote, using the Trussell Trust network and their expertise.”
Ewan Gurr, Scotland development officer for the Trussell Trust, said: “For someone struggling to pay the mortgage or rent, Council Tax, and fuel bills, sometimes food can often come last on the list of priorities."
Read the full story in The Northern Scot print version.
• The meeting on Monday night will take place in the Elgin Free Church in South Street at 7pm. Anyone keen to find out more about becoming a volunteer or supporting the food bank in any way is encouraged to go along.