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Port Glasgow firms support Inverclyde Foodbank

In light of the current coronavirus crisis, Port Glasgow-based firms McLaren Packaging and Interlok Divisions have engaged to help Inverclyde Foodbank provide essential services to the most vulnerable people in the area.

Both companies have been matching employee donations and ensuring that Inverclyde Foodbank receive a minimum of £1,000 per week with a total commitment of at least £12,000.

In addition, the firms have been releasing employees to help the running of the foodbank during company time at full pay on Monday, Wednesday or Friday afternoons until the lockdown is lifted.

The firms’ management and staff have been supporting the foodbank since early April by making much needed financial donations and providing staff to work at the foodbank.

Donald McLaren, managing director of McLaren Packaging, said: “As a family firm with long-established roots in the local community, we recognised the need to do what we could to help in a meaningful way.

“After discussions late March and early April, it was clear the foodbank was struggling for donations but, more importantly, volunteers due to the lockdown restrictions preventing regulars from attending. We quickly decided to allow employees to get involved and assist the foodbank’s operations during normal company time. It has proved to be a great success.”

A total of 12 McLaren Packaging and Interlok Divisions employees have been working at the foodbank. Donna O’Neil from McLaren Packaging said: “Supporting the foodbank has allowed me to see the wider picture of how it helps the local community by seeing first-hand how the food gets donated, and why it always needs donations as lots of people rely on it.”

Kevin McIntosh from Interlok Divisions, added: “I have enjoyed being part of the group as it has allowed me to do something helpful for the local community.”

Lesley Jackson, Inverclyde Foodbank spokesperson, said: “The support from McLaren Packaging has been instrumental in our managing of our new service set up during our response to the current Covid-19 crisis.

“We have changed our service so that it is a delivery-only service instead of collections. Every item of food that comes into Inverclyde Foodbank is weighed in and then weighed out as it is packed into bags. This can be food that has been donated or food we have been able to purchase using the generous financial donations we have received.

“We have had a fantastic group of staff from McLaren Packaging helping in our store and warehouse, making it a streamlined process from our donations coming in to being weighed, date checked, sorted and brought into our packing room, straight into bags and ready to go out to help those most in need.”

She added: “Thanks to those driving for us and making these deliveries from McLaren Packaging, we have been able to help individuals, couples and families all over Inverclyde. We have been able to supply 759 referrals with a parcel containing a three-day emergency food supply, each containing 10 meals, supporting some 1401 adults and children.

“We would love to say a huge thank you to everyone at McLaren Packaging for helping us help those in financial need in Inverclyde. We work hard to bring hope to Inverclyde and with their help over these past weeks, McLaren Packaging has helped us deliver that. We have some way to go until this crisis lifts and service can return to normal and we will continue to work hard to support those in Inverclyde who are most in need.”