Monifieth Parish Church’s Food for All project has been upping its quantity of soup bags and jacket potatoes every week such is its popularity.
If you are going through Monifieth town centre on a Thursday recently you may have seen some activity outside the Parish Church on High Street.
This is the happy band of 10 volunteers who are helping to run the kirk’s Food for All project which has really taken off since its launch three weeks ago.
People in the town can pick up a bag that includes ingredients for making soup or a pre-booked baked potato which can be stored in their fridge for up to 30 days.
And Food for All is just that – for everybody, explained organiser and church elder, Irene Coull.
“It came about from our minister here, Fi Reynolds, got a communication from Voluntary Action Angus (VAA) telling us about the project and asking if it was something Monifieth would be interested in doing,” she revealed.
“Fi contacted me and I had conversations with VAA and then our session had to OK it. They agreed unanimously to do this and it was as simple as that.”
“Stirfresh from Upper Dysart Farm deliver all the vegetables on a Wednesday morning and we just them in the fridges here and on a Thursday we distribute them for four hours – although it is usually gone after two so they have upped the quantity every week,” Irene said.
“It all comes ready. The vegetables are pre-packed, the baked potatoes are pre-cooked, vacuum packed and keep for 30 days so it is just a case of people deciding when to use them – absolutely amazing! It is a mixture of different vegetables every week.
“The initial response has been very, very good. The people taking a turn on the rota have been hearing great things and it is just about getting the word out there that it is for everyone – anyone at all who wants can take something away. That is the beauty of the whole thing, it is Food for All – free!
“Naturally the church wants to be involved in anything like this, and through the pandemic we have been allowed to open for that kind of thing, so it has been OK for us to do it, as you are allowed to open if it involves food.”
Food for All could soon be providing hot food with plans to make soup viewed as a natural progression.
“We might look to start making food on the premises, but we wanted to see how the distributing went first. If there is a need or a desire for soup to be made then we will do it,” said Irene.
“We have had brilliant support, as usual, from our local Tesco who have supplied cubes for making soup, and Morrisons as well. The minister has been in contact with them and they have been very supportive, too.
“Lots of people in the community are getting involved and anyone who wants to play a part is welcome to come down and help distribute it.
“It has been so successful we have run out every week, and the weather has been amazing which has allowed us to go out there.”
And if you can’t make it down to the town centre church, then the volunteers will come to you.
“We also have an online form which can be filled in. Not everyone can make it down here and people can either choose to have it weekly or as a one-off and we deliver it to their homes,” Irene added.
Teresa Spark, charities coordinator at Upper Dysart Farm, is involved with a number of community projects throughout Angus through farm’s community larder project.
She explained: “Our vision is to enable and support positive changes in the lives of the local community.
“Promoting health and wellbeing by providing specific food and community engagement.
“We are involved in a number of projects and each project is different.
“Initially we have a Zoom chat and eventually arrive at a point where they choose what they are going to do. Some distribute soup bags, some make soup hot which is delivered of distributed, others make soup which is then cooled and delivered to people who need it. Every project has its own way of working.
“Those involved in each project work out who is really in need and how they can reach those people who are in need.”