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The Newbattle Food Initiative

As the church plans for the redevelopment of the building in Newtongrange this year, the Storehouse Foodbank closed it’s doors at the end of April. It was the end of an era as the Storehouse has worked in that building for 10 years. The work of the foodbank and the support we have always offered to the families we get referred to us from Newtongrange and Mayfield via the Children and Families Department of Social Work, has moved to a new location with a new name and shape. The Newbattle Food Initiative is the reconfigured version of the foodbank as we begin to emerge from lockdown and take into account all the changes the pandemic has brought, especially to people experiencing food insecurity. What hasn’t changed: Newbattle Parish, as a church and congregation covering the 3 communities of Newtongrange, Newbattle and Mayfield and Easthouses will still be running a food support programme: collecting, shopping, packing and supporting families with emergency food parcels in the same way the Storehouse foodbank always did. All the food, shelves and supplies from Storehouse have been moved to the church at Mayfield and Easthouses. The same referral catchment area of Newtongrange and Mayfield and Easthouses will be served. The same items of food will be required and provided for the parcels. The Co-op in Newtongrange have kindly agreed to continue to have a donations basket where local people, as they have always generously done, can give ambient food (tins and jars and packets) to the Newbattle Food Initiative. What has changed: The food will be stored, sorted and collected from Mayfield and Easthouses church while the redevelopment of Newtongrange Church is being carried out over the next 2 years. There will be more community news on the redevelopment at the end of June through the church magazine and the Community Council. We are now operating as a satellite station of the Midlothian Foodbank (Trussell Trust) at Gorebridge so that we have the back up support of a larger organisation. We will be working more in partnership with Newtongrange Development Trust’s “The Pool” Saturday sessions and also with Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust’s new initiative “The Pantry” where food will be made available in different ways in these communities. The food will be packed and distributed on a Thursday at Mayfield and Easthouses church and we are looking for new volunteers to help with this. If you are interested or have any questions about the NFI then please email the Minister, Gayle on gtaylor@churchofscotland.org.uk or call the church office on 0131 663 3245.



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