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Generous Lochaber call centre staff ensure cash strapped locals can afford to eat

Lochaber Foodbank manager Alex McConachie and secretary Pat Leslie
Lochaber Foodbank manager Alex McConachie and secretary Pat Leslie

A generous gesture from staff at a Highland call centre means 22 cash-strapped local people will be able to eat for three days.

Employees at the Abellio Call Centre on Claggan Industrial Estate in Fort William decided to carry out a fundraising event over Easter.

And they have now presented Lochaber Foodbank with food weighing an amazing 35 stone.

The impressive Easter gift was very gratefully received by foodbank manager Alex McConachie, who pointed out that they rely on donations to provide food for people in need.

He said: “We help anyone who can’t afford to eat, whether it’s due to benefit delays, sickness, because they’ve just received a massive heating bill or any other reason.

“They can be given vouchers for the foodbank by social services, the health service and other local organisations and then come here and collect their food.

“We also provide food for children entitled to free school meals during the school holidays.”

Mr McConachie explained that they had out packs of food to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days, together with basic toiletries, if required.

The foodbank on Fort William High Street, which is operated under the Trussell Trust, opened in November 2013 and the number of people using it has grown dramatically over the past two and a half years.

Between November 2013 and April 2014, it fed 157 people, the following year 600 people were provided with food and from April 1 last year to March 31 a three-day supply of food was given to 675 people.

Mr McConachie said: “We are totally reliant on donations so it’s always good to get a large quantity like the one from the Abellio Call Centre, which will feed 22 people for three days, but we’re very grateful to anyone who makes a donation.”

He added that they were always in need of more food, toiletries and cash to buy specific items that are needed.

They also need more volunteers to help in the shop, which is open between noon and 2pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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