A kind-hearted Barrhead couple are preparing to “go the extra mile” for East Renfrewshire Foodbank (ERF) as it faces unprecedented levels of demand.

David Mackenzie, who is a member of the service’s management team and volunteers in the warehouse, and his wife Lisa are taking on the 96-mile West Highland Way next month.

David, 57, began helping out at the foodbank’s Barrhead site after retiring about three years ago.

In the time since, he has seen first-hand how necessary the service unfortunately is and the gratitude recipients show towards those who volunteer and donate.

Barrhead News: David Mackenzie and Ken TrenchDavid Mackenzie and Ken Trench (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “ERF is currently providing more emergency food parcels to local families than ever before.

“The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard and despite the outstanding generosity of donors, stock levels are continually under pressure.

“As far as the walk is concerned, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, so we are just going to take the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

“It would be fantastic if you could give us your support by making a small donation.”

The couple are aiming to raise £500 with all funds going directly towards providing food and basic necessities for local families and individuals in need.

Indeed, the foodbank is currently serving a minimum of 30 people every time they are open at their Barrhead site alone.

Last month they told how they have even reached 40 or more occasionally.

When their other sites in Thornliebank Resource Centre and in Busby Parish Church are also taken into consideration, 70 people are being served every week across the three sites.

While they serve individuals, couples, small and large families, their biggest client is currently small families.

This has also affected demand as small families do on average require more stock than a single person.

Barrhead News: The current most needed items, left, and, right, Ken at the foodbank at the end of last summerThe current most needed items, left, and, right, Ken at the foodbank at the end of last summer (Image: Newsquest)

Ken Trench, who set up the foodbank and is part of its management team, says these increasing numbers are a direct effect of rising energy prices.

He told the Barrhead News: “We are delighted that David and Lisa are doing this on behalf of the foodbank, especially at the time when our stock has never been lower because of the amount of customers we are serving now every week.

“It’s not that people have stopped giving, it’s that demand has risen. It’s a crazy amount of stock we are now shifting. 

“We are now serving double what we were a year ago and really the biggest increase has happened since the beginning of this year.

“Tesco is also helping us this month. On Saturday, April 29, from about 9.30am we will be standing at the door giving out shopping lists as folk come in. These let people know what they need to collect if they want to drop something in on the way out."

The items most urgently needed include UHT milk and fruit juice (long-life or diluting), sugar, jam, coffee, tea, rice pudding and custard, tinned chopped tomatoes, tinned spaghetti, tinned vegetables including peas, carrots, sweetcorn and potatoes, toilet rolls and general toiletries.

No nappies or formula milk is currently needed.

The foodbank on Lowndes Street is open from 12pm to 2pm on Tuesdays and from 2pm to 4pm on Fridays.

To donate to David and Lisa’s fundraiser visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/eastrenfrewshirefoodbank.