West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare was established with the explicit aim of making a clear break from a ‘charity’ attitude to food aid. The project was set up following growing concern among local advice services and community members as to the extent of food poverty in the area. In 2012 a public meeting was held to discuss how the community should respond to the issue. It was decided then that the approach must be one of not only providing food, but also of community empowerment and resistance to policies which lead to food poverty. As the former-chairman, Danny McCafferty, commented at the time:

“That we are talking about giving out food parcels to feed people in 2012 is a national disgrace. Unlike the concept of Foodbanks which are taking hold throughout the country, Foodshare aims to unite communities in a uniquely different way. Ours is a concept founded on 'feed and fight'. Dealing with the immediacy of providing for those in need has to be accompanied by challenging the causes.”

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare seeks to assist all those affected by poverty through: providing direct distribution of food to anyone in need, signposting of information, advice and support on matters of wellbeing, and raising awareness of issues affecting the communities of West Dunbartonshire by lobbying and campaigning for changes in government policy on matters of social justice and poverty. A Citizens Advice advisor attends the project weekly and they also have close links with other local organisations including the women’s aid, a homelessness agency and a mental health charity.