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CASH Organises Food Bank Drive

On Thursday, October 13, CASH held a food bank drive outside Tesco to collect donations for Storehouse St Andrews, the local food bank, in anticipation of their Autumn Giveaway Day.

Barry Will, the Director of CASH, has told the Saint that the donation drive was an unprecedented success, with Storehouse St Andrews informing CASH that they are not in need of another donation for at least a month.

CASH set up outside Tesco, giving customers leaflets as they entered the store which informed the recipients of the items that were most in demand by Storehouse St Andrews. Mr Will told the Saint that every bottle of washing-up liquid in Tesco was sold out, and items such as chocolates and small treats, often overlooked when donating, were abundant among the donations. Mr Will told The Saint that items often seen as delicacies or luxuries can positively impact the lives of those who visit the food bank.

Until the food bank drive organised by CASH, Storehouse was “extremely low on stock, despite being busier than ever.” By June of this year, Storehouse had given out more parcels than the entirety of 2021.

According to Mr Will, the key goal of the food bank drive was to help build a connection between the local community and the student body. Speaking on the broader operation of CASH, Mr Will told the Saint that the strength of student activism is achieved by working with researchers, politicians, and the University to build a community-focused movement. Mr Will also expressed his gratitude that local residents had reached out to CASH to thank them for contributing to the community.

Speaking on behalf of CASH, Mr Will thanked volunteers from CASH and the St Andrews Socialist Society for their contribution to the food bank drive.

Storehouse was set up in 2006 by Kingdom Vineyard Church with the expressed aim of serving those of all faiths or no faith. Storehouse runs Giveaway Days throughout the year to help anyone and everyone who is in need without requiring a referral. Storehouse website contains further information on which items are in demand and how to donate to their cause.

Storehouse St Andrews note on their website: “We are always deeply saddened that the need for food banks is continuously on the rise, however we feel really blessed to be able to carry out the work we do with the generous support of others.”

CASH is planning to rally on October 29 to oppose the cost-of-living crisis and to support the striking workers across the country. The rally will take place outside the Students’ Association at 1pm. Mr Will told the Saint that CASH will host speakers from local trade unions, including UCU and CWU, and a band that will be performing live at the rally. Mr Will believes that the cost-of-living crisis and the rising demand for food banks is linked to the housing crisis in St Andrews and across Scotland.

Mr Will commented: “If you’re fed up with energy companies making obscene profits at our expense, if you’re fed up with private landlords exploiting our basic need to live in a safe and secure home – we encourage you to come along to our rally at the end of October and show solidarity with our community. It’s not just students who are suffering right now because of the housing crisis - it’s staff and local families too. We want to show that we’re in this together, and that the students of St. Andrews are here to support our community every step of the many crises we are facing.”

He continued: “Rent is the single largest monthly expense for any tenant in Scotland. If we can’t control rent, we can’t expect to control the cost-of-living crisis. Whilst it was great to see so much of our community come out in support of the food bank, the real solutions for our struggling neighbours rest in a transformed private housing market which works in the interests of ordinary renters, with rent controls and significant penalties for landlords who break the law. For as long as the market favours private landlords, we’ll continue to see our neighbours and friends struggle with daily expenses, and food bank use will only go up.”

Image: CASH

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