Renfrewshire church thanked for collecting four and half tonnes of food for foodbank

A Renfrewshire congregation has been thanked for collecting four and a half tonnes of goods for a foodbank during lockdown.

Houston and Killellan Kirk has been collecting around 80 bags a week to donate to Refrewshire Foodbank.

Over 15 weeks, Houston and Killellan Kirk provided enough ingredients for the equivalent of more than 11,100 meals.

Speaking about the impressive community effort, Rev Gary Noonan who is the minister of the parish, explained that within days of closing the building, they were looking at how to help the most vulnerable.

"We were accutely aware at this time it's often the poorest who are hit hardest," he said.

"By the Monday after closing our buildings we had 20 volunteers from the congregation and wider local area, which soon grew to 35.

"They were able to do peoples' shopping, that kind of thing."

In the past, the congregation had made substantial donations to Renfrewshire Foodbank twice a year but realised they would need their support more than ever.

Soon they were collecting around 80 bags a week to deliver to the foodbank.

Rev Gary Noonan. Photo by James Chapelard
Rev Gary Noonan. Photo by James Chapelard

Whilst Mr Noonan describes it as a "scandal" that people are still forced to rely on foodbanks, he is full of praise for the way the whole community has been involved.

In a letter thanking the church and those who had helped from the local area, Renfrewshire Foodbank described their donations as "truly incredible".

However, the letter goes on to say that they expect a "dramatic rise" in the number of people needing their services when the full impact of job losses hits.

As a result Mr Noonan intends to continue the collection at the church for the foreseeable future.

If you would like to support the collection for Renfrewshire Foodbank you can drop items off at the the church's West Halls every Tuesday between 10am-12pm or 7-8pm.