AN OLD Kilpatrick couple have spent their time on furlough setting up a food bank for villagers and nearby Dalmuir residents.

Maureen Cummings and her husband Gordon launched Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels last Wednesday afternoon at The Twisted Thistle.

A total of 21 families turned up on the first ever day to receive help amid the coronavirus crisis.

But despite being set up during the pandemic, the pair are hoping to continue the support service in the long-term.

Maureen, 53, told the Post: “Some of the bigger areas nearby have multiple food banks but there is nothing that services Old Kilpatrick and Dalmuir.

“Families are having to travel elsewhere so I thought we really need to have something here.

“Anyone can come along, there is no criteria at all. If you need it you can have it.

“The parcels are not full of luxury items – they are essential food items. If someone turns up and waits in a queue, who are we to question why they need it?”

Read more: Auchentoshan Distillery provides community with hand sanitiser

The couple hope that mainly Old Kilpatrick and Dalmuir residents benefit from the food bank as most of the donations have came form the shops in these communities.

Maureen added: “The people in both communities have been so generous.

“I originally started a Facebook page and reached out to pick up prescriptions etc, but I started getting phone calls from shops saying they’ve got some spare food and asked do I know anyone who could use it.

“I was reaching out to other charities and taking stuff to them and that’s when I thought ‘why am I taking donations out of the village, surely there must be somewhere in our village that could use them?’ But there wasn’t.

“It was only at the end of April I had the conversation with my husband to set it up.

“The owners of The Twisted Thistle have kindly let us use the function suite for the duration of the lockdown and we will need to see what happens after that.”

Due to social distancing measures, it is only Maureen and Gordon inside and those turning up are asked to wait outside, two metres apart from anyone else.

Maureen said: “We really want to make this a positive experience. It’s very difficult times just now.

“Sometimes people going to food banks get embarrassed about having to use them but we’re really trying to make it a welcoming place.

“The food parcels are not handouts; it’s people wanting to help others during a terrible time.”

Anyone who needs small hand sanitiser bottles filled up are also welcome to go along thanks to a donation from Auchentoshan Distillery.