Langlees community spirit ensures no-one goes hungry

The people in Langlees have proved they have community spirit to spare as they worked together to make sure no-one went hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.

Angela Smith, a community worker in Langlees with Corra Foundation, said she has been overwhelmed with support since the start of lockdown.

Volunteers, including teachers from Langlees Primary, have come together – two metres apart, of course – to make sure food gets to those who are most in need.

They make up bags of food which are given out on a Friday to ensure people have food over the weekend.

Langlees foodbank - on the right Angie Smith and Councillor Robert Bissett with volunteers

At the start of lockdown they needed 74 parcels although that number has decreased steadily until last week just 29 bags were needed.

What’s important for the volunteers, says Angela, is that there are no barriers to getting help – anyone who is hungry is welcome to a bag of food.

“The school has been fabulous – the teachers have been coming down here to pack boxes and doing everything they can to make sure families are okay.

“And there are lots of other volunteers who come along every week to help out, bringing donations and packing the parcels.

“The community support down here is amazing – it’s what keeps things alive.”

Before the pandemic took hold, Angela had established a food project in the Sub, beside the Dawson Centre, which aimed to helped people over the weekend when other means of help were usually closed.

But as Covid-19 took hold, and all council buildings closed, she no longer had access to the Sub.

The Dawson Sports Development Association came to the rescue – offering her two large blue containers which have become a make-shift foodbank.

Working from home, Angela has been able to form links with other charities including Fare Share, which donates food every week to be distributed.

Cyrenians, based in Dollar Park, have also helped out cooking hot meals that can be given to families while the Grangemouth-based charity Nu2U has also been a huge help.

And the supermarket Morrisons has also been very supportive through the work of its community champion.

Members of the small cooking group that Angela helped to set up prior to lockdown can no longer meet up – but they have been providing meals every week using whatever ingredients have been donated.

Angela is all too aware that local groups – not just cooking but also knitting – that were formed to combat loneliness and isolation have been sorely missed in the past months.

Now, Scottish Government funding has allowed them to make up 100 activity packs – with books, puzzles and mindfulness activities – which she hopes will help pass the time for elderly people who don’t have access to the internet.

“The community has really come together through this crisis and I hope we can keep that spirit going,” says Angela.

Message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you