A BARRHEAD foodbank has received a welcome boost ahead of Christmas thanks to an innovative scheme spearheaded by the council.

The donation has come from firm Rexel Group, which supplies electrical goods to East Renfrewshire Council through the community benefit requirements within their contract.

East Renfrewshire Foodbank, based at St Andrew’s Church on Main Street, this week received £443.80 thanks to the local authority’s approach to ensuring communities get something back from contracts awarded for delivering goods and services.

Agnes Brown, a volunteer at the foodbank, said: “We are very grateful to have received this cheque from the Rexel Group which will benefit the foodbank massively. The costs to heat the church at this time of the year increases and we often have to purchase items that we run out of, therefore this will be a great help to us.”

Contractors appointed by the council now have to provide community benefits as part of their contract, including job opportunities for local residents, offering training and learning link-ups and support for schools and community causes.

This follows new legislation that was introduced to ensure the procurement processes play a part in improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the authority’s area.

Councillor Danny Devlin, convener for Housing and Maintenance Services, said: “We are committed to improving economic growth in the area and this is a great example of suppliers supporting our local communities. We are delighted to see communities benefitting and crucial contributions being made to great causes in our local area.”

A wide range of community benefits have already been secured across the area and East Renfrewshire Foodbank, based in Barrhead, was delighted to be the most recent to receive support.

The cheque was presented to volunteers from the foodbank by Rexel Group, a supplier of electrical goods to the council.

Drewe McIlroy, from Rexel Group, said: “To be able to contribute to this very worthwhile cause is incredibly important to us and East Renfrewshire Foodbank. Its volunteers offer a fantastic service to the community.”

Vouchers for families or individuals in need of emergency food in times of crisis will be issued by doctors, health visitors, social workers and the Citizens Advice Bureau.