Carnoustie branch of the British Legion has struck up a partnership to bring extra festive cheer to struggling local families.
As part of the area’s involvement in a scheme to avoid food going to waste, the group has linked with local stores as part of a scheme intended to become a year-round benefit.
Carnoustie Legion chair Davie Paton, said: “A few months ago, the branch joined the FoodShare and FareShare initiatives in which large stores donate their excess food to charity.
“We have been amazed at how the idea has taken off, and delighted with the support we have received.
“The response from the local Co-op branch on Carnoustie High Street and Tesco Monifieth has been overwhelming.
He said: “We collect food from the stores and deliver it to households in and around Carnoustie.
“At present, the Legion is helping more than 20 families and, as word spreads, the number is growing all the time.
“In line with the Legion charter of providing help to the local community, all applications for support are treated in strict confidence.”
The Legion priorities are support to veterans, their families and the elderly, with any extra food going to local schools.
Gavin Wilson, who oversees deliveries on behalf of the branch said: “It makes it all worthwhile when you see families getting food that they might not otherwise be able to afford.”
The latest collection was made at the town centre Co-op store, where manager Lorraine Doig said they were delighted to support what she described as a “win-win” initiative.
“As a result of the Co-op/Legion partnership, excessive food is no longer going to waste but instead making a real difference to local families, particularly at this time of the year,” said Lorraine.
FareShare project research has suggested that well in excess of eight million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat.
Close to five million live in what are considered to be severely food insecure homes.
It is also estimated almost two million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year, from farmers, growers and manufacturers to processors, retailers and food service companies.