AN East Renfrewshire school is supporting vulnerable families after launching a foodbank initiative.

Staff at Neilston Primary created a food trolley project to help ease the strain being felt by many local residents as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Families whose children attend the school have shown their support by donating food and household items so these can be distributed to those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.

Andrew Howie, a principal teacher at Neilston Primary, is leading the initiative.
He told the Barrhead News: “During the first lockdown, we were seeing pictures of teachers at different schools helping their communities and there was one in particular that went viral which showed a deputy headteacher with a rucksack visiting homes and delivering free meals to his pupils.

“It’s that idea of the school being such an integral part of the community and helping the people around us, making sure that everyone is getting fed, that inspired us.

“We started off with our school lunch trolleys, with the staff buying food from Asda, which then led to contributions from the parents.

“Initially, we had just a few items, which were left outside the school to encourage people to come along and take these while the building was closed during lockdown.

“The idea has since grown from there and we have seen so many people in the community wanting to help, which has been great.”

Other organisations and local groups have since been in touch to offer their support to the project.

Mr Howie added: “From something small that was funded and operated by the staff, it has grown arms and legs and we are now part of Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VAER).”

Neilston Primary’s house and vice-captains from primary seven now take charge of making sure the food trolley is well stocked, with the school’s janitor wheeling it to the top of the hill every weekday morning.

“The team at VAER have been a great help and we have also received a grant from the Cora Foundation, along with a donation of £750 worth of food from Asda in Newton Mearns,” Mr Howie added.

“We also have local organisations helping out, including the Co-op and Tot Nosh. It has been amazing that so many people are keen to help.

“We now have money to keep this going for a long period of time, which is great.”