Inverness Foodstuff was set up in May 2014 by a group of interested people from local churches and community in an attempt to address the problem of homelessness, food poverty, social isolation and food waste. The group prepared a Development Plan and Constitution which was submitted to OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) in September of that year and on 10 November we were given charitable status.
The project relies upon receiving surplus food which would otherwise go to waste from local retailers and major supermarkets. Harry Gow Bakeries continue to supply the project with bread twice a week and the project now has agreements for the supply of fresh produce from Tesco's; Morrison's; Marks & Spencer’s; Aldi; Lidl; Co-op; and Bookers, as well as local suppliers such as Swanson’s Fruit and Veg Suppliers. There are a team of volunteers who collect the food from these suppliers daily allowing us to maintain good levels of stock and we are also indebted to FareShare and Neighbourly, who are our intermediaries organising the logistics of the supermarket collections.
The project continues to run as a Drop-in Centre on a Tuesday and Thursday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm as well as a Saturday from 1.30pm to 4pm. A three-course meal of soup, main course and pudding is provided at each weekday session, along with fresh fruit and often baking (when available) for participants to enjoy and a two- course lunch of soup and either a main or pudding on a Saturday. Participants can choose what they like to eat, and tea/coffee/diluting juice is also available throughout the sessions. All the food is cooked from fresh produce and is vegetarian.
At the Thursday sessions, through our partnership with the Highland Council’s Employability service, participants have the opportunity to receive one-to-one advice and assistance with digital access, job applications, preparing CV’s and applying for benefits online.
The following services are also offered through the development of the following partnerships:
NHS Community Nurse with a remit for the homeless visits weekly;
NHS Nurse Practitioner for the homeless visits regularly;
NHS Highland Screening Service provide support, advice and encouragement to participants eligible for breast and bowel screening.
Highland Council’s housing team provide a support worker regularly;
Highland Council’s Welfare Team is available for advice on benefits;
Highland Council’s Employability service provides a support worker for the Thursday sessions;
Third Sector Employment Support Agency provides support and guidance to jobseekers;
Women’s Aid provide a regular, discreet service to those in need;
Oxfam provide free clothes for participants weekly;
A volunteer hairdresser provides haircuts to participants every Tuesday;
We continue to be a referral agency to the Foodbank who in turn refer individuals to our service;
To date we have 89 volunteers, 6 of whom are volunteering with us only for the COVID-19 pandemic, and all of whom are very committed to our
Project and provide great support to the homeless community.
The Board consists of eight Trustees; the Chairperson is our Minister and the Treasurer is Bob Glover (who is also the Ness Bank Finance Team Leader).
We have many tasks carried out by our volunteers such as:
Selection and collection of food at supermarkets
Weekly provisions check
Weekly collection of clothes from Oxfam
and we would welcome anyone who would be willing to help. For more information please contact the Operations Manager, June Macleod, on