The foodbank is one of our main hall users. This was established in response to the need identified in the Mission Audit, in which 70% of the congregation placed the alleviation of the effects of poverty as their top priority for community action.
In response to this GPC Kirk Session initiated a discussion in 2012 with Ewan Gurr, then Scottish Director of the Trussell Trust, about the possibility of establishing a Foodbank in Gorebridge to cover the totality of Midlothian to ensure “no-one needs to go to bed hungry in Midlothian”.
Over the next year the Kirk Session formulated a plan that would see the establishing of the Midlothian Foodbank.
It was during this time we discovered that Midlothian Council were also seeking to partner with the Trussell Trust.
In co- operation with Mrs Louise McShane of the Community Regeneration department we took on the responsibility for the setting up of the Foodbank and, along with representatives from other community organisations, Mrs McShane joined the Steering Group for the Midlothian Foodbank.
With the help of funding from GPC, grant funding from bodies such as The National Lottery and the Mustard Seed Foundation we took on Mrs Janice Burns as our Project Co-ordinator.
The foodbank now provides employment for 3.5 members of staff and has a number of volunteers. All of these people are local residents.
Purpose: The food bank provides essential food and provisions, thus helping people break free from poverty by giving support to help them to resolve the crises they're facing.
GPC Involvement: GPC ran the Foodbank from its conception until 2018 when it became a separate charity. Despite the constitutional separation from Church, GPC members continue to serve as trustees as well as providing administration and financial support and services.
The Foodbank continues to use the church buildings as their storehouse and office premises and is supported by GPC volunteers who, for example, deliver to those in need fresh food which is fast approaching its sell by date and which would otherwise go to waste.
Partners: Midlothian Council, Trussell Trust, Tesco, Costco, midlothian Community Payback Team, GPC and Morrison's. In addition to the fore mentioned partners they also work closely with the community hub and pass on perishable items for the community fridge scheme.