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Dundee and Angus Foodbank reveal the top 5 items on their Christmas list

Metta Ramsay from the Overgate visits Dundee and Angus Foodbank.
Metta Ramsay from the Overgate shopping centre volunteers with the foodbank. Picture Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

It’s a week until Christmas and Dundee and Angus Foodbank is busier than ever.

Its 80 volunteers are distributing half-a-tonne of food a day to people in need.

That’s 30 tonnes during November and December.

Dundee and Angus Foodbank manager Ken Linton is preparing for Christmas.
Dundee and Angus Foodbank manager Ken Linton with a crate of donated food. Picture Kim Cessford /DCT Media.

Thankfully, the people of Dundee are “phenomenally generous”, according to foodbank manager Ken Linton, and donations of food, toiletries and other essentials are pouring in.

And a tie-in with the city’s Overgate shopping centre has meant even more help for what is Scotland’s third busiest foodbank.

Ken still has one Christmas wish, however – to eradicate the need for foodbanks altogether.

But until then, he reveals the top five items he’d like people to donate over the festive season.

What’s in a typical food parcel?

Ken and his band of volunteers put together three-day, nutritionally-balanced emergency food parcels.

Each contain cereal, soup, tinned vegetables, meat, fish and fruit.

Pudding is also included, along with tea, coffee, milk, sugar and, of course, toilet roll.

Some of the items already handed in to Dundee and Angus Foodbank.
Food is stored in crates waiting to be made into parcels. Picture Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

Winter traditionally brings an increase in demand for the parcels.

“Once the clocks change and people are caught between heating and eating things pick up,” said Ken.

“That’s likely to continue as people unfortunately overspend in December then struggle through January.”

Despite the public’s generosity, Dundee and Angus Foodbank is still short of a few items.

The top five on Ken’s wish list over the next week or so are:

  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned desserts
  • UHT milk
  • Toilet rolls
  • Small jars of coffee

As well as food, the foodbank provides wellbeing packs.

Those contain things like sanitary products, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste and shampoo.

“We try to give people some dignity,” Ken said.

“A lot of people have chaotic lifestyles but we’re here to support them.”

Donating to Dundee and Angus Foodbank

Due to Covid restrictions, Dundee and Angus Foodbank is closed to the public at the moment.

But people can hand items over at the front door at 110 Albert Street during any weekday.

On Thursday alone, volunteers received collections from Glebelands Primary School, Grove Academy, Curr and Dewar Auctioneers and the Sunflower Room beauty salon.

And it’s not just food they’re handing in – there are selection boxes and other gifts for both children and adults in need.

“Of course, it would be even better if we didn’t need foodbanks at all,” said Ken.

“We’re not going to do away with poverty but we need to support people in a different way.

“Will it be done before I retire? I don’t know but I’d like to think so.”

Overgate volunteers

The Overgate is one of Dundee and Angus Foodbank’s biggest supporters.

Community manager Metta Ramsay said workers were volunteering at distribution centres before lockdown and were looking forward to getting back.

Metta checks over the one of the boxes at the Dundee and Angus Foodbank distribution centre in Albert Street. Picture Kim Cessford/DCT Media.

“It’s a shame we’ve not been able to do it since Covid but we still make sure to hold our annual collections,” she said.

“It’s just an eye-opener coming to visit.

“Foodbank users aren’t necessarily the stereotypes you would think.

“It’s often people like you and me who have lost their jobs and have nowhere else to turn.

“We sit and chat to them and hear their stories.”

As well as holding collections of food and toiletries in the centre, the Overgate has donated all the money from its kiddie car ride from November.

Tayside and Fife foodbanks: Which items are needed most and where can I donate?

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