City foodbank to close after council eviction notice

Organisers say the closure will 'devastate' a community in need as service users say they will be left 'with nothing.'

A foodbank in one of Dundee’s most deprived areas is to close after an eviction notice was issued by the council.

Mill O’ Mains foodbank, which lost its pavilion in a blaze in 2017, supports the community from a sheltered housing unit.

But the council says it needs the space back for the Housing Service to deliver activities for local residents.

Those who rely on the service say it’ll leave them “with nothing”.

“It’s a choice between heating or food,” said June Jones, a resident at the sheltered housing complex and frequent user of the foodbank.

“When you’ve got this here, the amount of food you can get out of all they baskets, for the money you pay.

June Jones has regularly used the foodbank for several years

“It’s absolutely a need, a must.”

Fellow resident Lorraine Degernier said: “Come the end of the month, you’re running on low on things.

“This keeps me topped up with essential things.

“Without this, we’ve nothing.”

The foodbank provides essential items to members of the community, all for a total of £2.

Last week it was issued with an eviction notice, requiring volunteers to vacate the site from the middle of next month.

The charity’s chair Yvonne Mullen said: “It was devastating news.

“We thought we were welcome here and we would’ve been here for a little while.

“At least until we could find another place, which I know we’re not going to.

June Jones [left] and Lorraine Degernier [centre] speak to charity's chair Yvonne Mullen [right]

“We just thought this would continue.”

The council says it has explored alternative options, including its community hub at Mill of Mains primary.

Volunteers say a school is not an appropriate site for a foodbank.

A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “Dundee City Council has a purpose-built community facility at Mill of Mains Primary School which any community group can access.   

“Housing and Communities teams also explored other alternative options in very close proximity to the sheltered lounge and we continue to listen to any concerns and offer support to the group to help them identify solutions.   

“The Housing Service require the use of the space in the sheltered complex to facilitate the delivery of activities for our tenants and residents.”

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