Huge effort to ‘keep county fed’ during pandemic recognised at Holyrood

The collective effort made by local groups to keep East Lothian fed during the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised in a motion lodged at the Scottish Parliament.

Submitted by local MSP Iain Gray, the motion thanks East Lothian Council, local farmers, supermarkets and other businesses, charities, community and resilience groups, as well as hundreds of local volunteers, for their involvement in helping to keep food on people’s tables during the crisis.

Speaking about the motion, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Ensuring that supplies of food and drink have continued to reach local shops and supermarkets, as well as those who have been unable to leave their homes during lockdown, was always going to be one of the biggest logistical issues to overcome during this crisis. All of the businesses, workers, community groups and volunteers involved in this effort have shown great commitment, compassion and innovation to ensure that people have been able to get the food they need.

“Of course it has been tough for many, with significant additional pressures for staff working in the food retail sector, and businesses and charities facing various new problems resulting from the pandemic. But all of the sectors and groups involved have worked together to overcome these problems and, crucially, ensure that vulnerable residents have been able to access support with obtaining food and other essentials when required.

“Everyone involved in this huge county-wide effort should be very proud of what they have achieved in these extraordinary circumstances and I’m pleased to be able to thank them all for helping keep food on people’s tables during this emergency.”

The full motion reads as follows:

Title: The Groups Keeping East Lothian Fed During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Motion Text:

That the Parliament commends everyone who has helped ensure that people in East Lothian, especially the most vulnerable and those who are shielding, have continued to be fed during the COVID-19 pandemic; believes that this has involved a wide range of public bodies, businesses, third sector groups and volunteers, including East Lothian Council and its area partnerships, farmers and agricultural sector workers, food producers, processers and distributors, supermarkets, convenience stores and other food retailers and takeaway outlets, and numerous charities and community groups including East Lothian Foodbank, Dunbar Basics Bank, Our Community Kitchen in Haddington, Fundamental Foods, which is run by the Pennypit Community Development Trust, East Lothian Roots and Fruits, Fresh Chicken Dinner Boxes, Heavy Sound in Tranent, Fareshare Hub at Port Seton Centre, Community Carrot in Dunbar, Home-Start East Lothian, Dirleton Good Neighbours Community Larder, and the county’s day centres, community councils, churches, rotary clubs and local resilience groups, and thanks all of the staff and volunteers who have been engaged in this huge effort to help keep food on people’s tables during the emergency.