Penicuik foodbank celebrates first birthday

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley cuts the cake to mark the first anniversary of Food Fact Friends in Penicuik
Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley cuts the cake to mark the first anniversary of Food Fact Friends in Penicuik

Food Fact Friends celebrated its first anniversary in Penicuik Town Hall this month.

Project founder Mark Wells told us how he, together with a number of friends, started the foodbank and drop in centre. Through his own personal experience and the help of others around him he has dedicated his energy to the relief of poverty and suffering in our community.

Danielle Rowley, fresh from being voted MP for Midlothian, and up till then working with Shelter, told how essential Mark and his project were in our community. The current benefit and support services make it very difficult for those on no, or low income, to feed themselves and their families.

Steve Wright from Edinburgh City Mission (ECM), spoke about some harrowing experiences his team had encountered, highlighting the role that ECM and its ‘Basics Bank’ foodbank play in providing food. Steve has provided invaluable support for Food Facts Friends foodbank project’s first year start-up.

Maxine Regan, the Tesco community champion, and a trustee of Food Facts Friends, sent her best wishes, whilst volunteer David Hogg from St Mungo’s Church, Penicuik, told of his experiences, working with those in need.

A video from Sister Rita Lee showed her visit from Manchester to open the foodbank. She also sent her congratulations to the group on reaching its first anniversary and wished everyone well for the future.

The Rev Tom Kisitu from St Nicholas Church, Sighthill, related his experiences and how a growing church has to focus on going out into our community to help those in need, rather than trying to bring people into the building.

During refreshments, which included an authentic Fijian curry, those attending were entertained by the Fijian Breakthrough Generation for Christ group, some who are serving soldiers in the British Army. They used song and music that offered up hope for the future. Some of the audience got up to dance to the music.

Food Facts Friends is open to serve those in need every Monday and Friday from 10am to 1.30pm, in St Mungo’s Church Hall, Penicuik. Finds the group on Facebook, call 07487 274944 or email