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PICTURES: Brora Development Trust's free food bag scheme benefits local school children


By Caroline McMorran

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Free breakfast packs and meal starter kits are being provided to Brora school children during the summer holidays in a bid to address food insecurity as the cost of living continues to rise.

Daisy Cameron starts preparing a meal from one of the development trust's starter packs.
Daisy Cameron starts preparing a meal from one of the development trust's starter packs.

Brora Development Trust (the name by which Brora and District Action Group is now known) has linked with Engaging with Activity at Brora Village Hub and The Young Carers East Sutherland (TYKES) to run the project, which has been funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Scottish Government.

Highland Council’s Food Plus Scheme is helping out by providing administrative services.

A team of volunteers at the hub prepare the packs which are available for collection weekly. More than 170 children of school age live in Brora and half of them have benefitted from the packs so far.

Trust development officer Sarah Morrison said: “It is hoped that the packs will ease some of the financial pressure on families during the school holidays when children don’t have access to free meals.

“The packs will also be available during the October break. However, beyond that, funding will have to be sought to continue the initiative.”

Another source of free food locally is the Brora Food Share Shed, run by a team of 13 volunteers organised by Engaging with Activity. The shed is one of 20 food larders in Sutherland alone. Originally set up to help reduce the amount of supermarket food going to landfill, the food share shed now plays an important role in supplementing household food stores.

Kath Hunter, co-founder of Engaging with Activity, said: “It is noticeable that there are people using the food share shed now who are in jobs. Their disposable income is becoming less and less and they have no resources left at the end of the month. This, unfortunately, will continue to be a problem as the cost of living crisis continues.”

The breakfast pack contains cereal and fruit as well as juice, bread, raisins and a chocolate fudge bar.
The breakfast pack contains cereal and fruit as well as juice, bread, raisins and a chocolate fudge bar.
Charlie Gibbard rustles up a tasty stir fry.
Charlie Gibbard rustles up a tasty stir fry.
Milo Ainsworth cooks up a storm.
Milo Ainsworth cooks up a storm.
Rory Simpson is among a large number of Brora school children whose families have benefitted from the breakfast packs and starter meals.
Rory Simpson is among a large number of Brora school children whose families have benefitted from the breakfast packs and starter meals.
Everything needed for a tasty pan of lentil soup is in this meal starter bag.
Everything needed for a tasty pan of lentil soup is in this meal starter bag.

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