Covid-19 Spotlight – Pollok Baptist Church

6 May 2020

Pollok Baptist Church, situated in Glasgow, run a weekly food bank and community café which is open to anyone who is able to attend.

As well as offering food, there is usually a rail of second hand clothes that have been donated and available free to anyone who needs them. They have also built their own fully equipped Kook Skool to challenge food poverty through food education.

The church has been collecting food from Waitrose and Tesco via FareShare Go since November 2019. They continue to collect food during the coronavirus pandemic which is put into food parcels and distributed to people in need in the community.

Dave Murray, Pastor at Pollock Baptist Church, said: “The collections through FareShare have been great, especially during the pandemic. It’s a real pleasure to hand out fresh fruit and vegetables alongside the non-perishable food bank items.

“The food coming from supermarkets has been amazing, though we did see a bit of a drop when the pandemic began and people were panic shopping.

“We’ve been getting a lot of vegetables which is absolutely brilliant because people can make soup and freeze it, or add veg to their meal at night. It’s really coming in handy. Tesco have been great, they’ve given us a lot of apples and carrots, so they go into the food parcels as well. We know that we have to be organic as well as you never know what you’ll get from week to week.

“We’re always had good procedures anyway, but we’ve certainly had to change the way we work at the minute. Every Tuesday and Friday we’re delivering food packages out to people – we’re bag packing and delivering. When we deliver the food we phone the recipient when we arrive, leave the food parcel at the door then we walk away. They open the door and take in the food parcels.

“We’re also phoning them up and asking them what they require – a lot of people need things like tea, milk – we open a dialogue with people.

“Local people are referring those who are self-isolating, who can’t get out to do their own food shopping.

“We’re serving around 30 families each Friday, so that’s 80 odd bags of food. Tuesdays it’s around 15 families and 45 bags of food. That’s based on the average family taking three bags, so when you add it up it is a lot of food.

“We count up the amount of families, we make up bags of fruit and veg, and then we start packing the food parcels. Everybody gets a fruit and veg bag and that’s all down to FareShare.

“My job is to build communities. To see the volumes of food going out and to see the volunteers going out and being affected by it, they’re being challenged by the pandemic situation. I’m proud of the team and their energy levels – it’s amazing to watch.

“Like the pandemic, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We’re in this for the long haul.
It’s a real blessing for me, I love it.”