Teenager rallies community to raise funds for local food bank

Charlie Lewis, 13, has raised more than £8,000 for the Storehouse Foodbank in St Andrews.

A Fife teenager is rallying his community in an effort to raise awareness and funds for his local food bank.

As part of a school project, 13-year-old Charlie Lewis from St Andrews was tasked with researching a community initiative.

After learning about the financial challenges families are facing amid the cost of living crisis, he wanted to focus his efforts on raising awareness and funds for the Storehouse Foodbank in the Fife town.

“It was very difficult to choose which thing to do,” he told STV News. “So, I thought it would be a good idea to do Storehouse Foodbank, because I’d say that’s the one I know most about, and I think it will be good for St Andrews.”

To help him with his initiative, the St Leonard’s pupil organised an afternoon tea fundraiser at his family-run restaurant in St Andrews.

“The pupils in Year 9 just now are working on a community project, which means they have to take the initiative, they take the lead, they get in touch with organisations, businesses, charities and ask how they can help,” explained Charlie’s teacher Paul Shiells.

“It’s a great learning curve for them, so we see the educational benefits, but the community really get the real benefit.”

The event was organised after an employee decided to leave the business to become a full-time carer for his wife.

“What a wonderful boy Charlie is,” his mother Julie Wijkstrom told STV News.

“He has been so passionate about fundraising and creating an awareness in the community for the Storehouse Foodbank and also the community hub. I’m so proud of him.”

Having launched in 2006 to serve the community of Fife, the food bank has witnessed a sharp rise in demand for their services in recent years.

Without the support of others, they wouldn’t be able to run.

Charlie initially set up a GoFundMe page with hopes of raising £1,000 for the food bank – a target that has already been smashed eight times with £8,000 raised so far.

Lucy Clarke from Storehouse Foodbank said: “Whether that’s somebody who chooses to put aside just one can of soup for the food bank, even if they’re really struggling themselves, we really see that and we really value it.”

“So, the work that Charlie has done is really, really valued by us.”

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