THE cost of living crisis is hitting us all and it means it is imperative that we help each other through these desperate times.

We all have to play a part, and the Central Fife Times is doing so by launching our 2023 Foodbank Appeal.

Benarty Foodbank and Cowdenbeath Foodbank both make such a difference to so many lives and are more valuable than ever to those who need them.

That’s why we need your help – so on March 15 we’ll be including a foodbank appeal bag in every edition of the Times and asking our readers to fill it up as much as you can, with great support provided by local sponsors: Carlucci Restaurant, Stagecoach, Timber Direct, Collier Haulage, James McCreadie & Sons, and Gas Tec.

Sandra Beveridge, project manager, at Dunfermline Foodbank, said: "The cost of living crisis is affecting us all, however, those on low incomes and claiming benefits are really feeling the pinch. 

"So far in this financial year we have surpassed the number of people we helped in the previous year and it is rising rapidly as the winter months go on. 

"We are extremely grateful to take part in the food appeal in the Central Fife Times and it couldn't come at a better time as donations drop and the winter bills take a grip on people.

"Our foodbanks quickly runs short of items used daily in households such as: tinned foods (ie meat/fish/potatoes/veg), long life milk, coffee/tea/sugar, and toiletries. Pot Noodles, Cuppa Soups and Mug Shots are great as some clients don't have or can't afford to use cooking facilities.

"We have been here for the last 10 years and as shocking as that is, we are needed now more than ever.

"Even if people could donate one item a week it really helps.

"You can drop donations off at our Warehouse at Unit 1C, Pitreavie Business Park, Dunfermline, KY11 8UN on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 4-6pm. 

"We also have Foodbanks in Cowdenbeath and Benarty who will gladly take your donations - Cowdenbeath is open Tuesdays and Thursdays and Benarty is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, both 4-6pm.

"We can't thank the Central Fife Times enough for running this food appeal for us."

We are grateful to our sponsors for helping us in this incredibly important appeal.

Here are the reasons why they are backing this campaign.

Carlucci Restaurant: "As a family-run business we feel it's important to be able to give back a little and to be able to support the local community and the foodbank appeal.

"This is just our way of offering a small thanks to the community who have supported us for so long. "Foodbanks are a valuable resource for any person who needs some extra support.

"Foodbanks can be a lifeline for families and individuals and through being able to offer our support we hope to make a positive impact for those who would benefit from accessing their local foodbank."

James McCreadie & Sons: "We are a small family-run business in Dunfermline for over 50 years and have, over the years, supported various local causes.

"When we were approached about the foodbank appeal, we were more than happy to offer our support.

"In the current climate we understand the need for charities/organisations such as the foodbank who play a vital role in helping those in need as no person or family in this day and age should be left to go hungry.

"We would like to encourage other businesses and the public to help us in supporting this appeal and donating wherever possible."

Timber Direct: "It's hard for people with money right now, let alone people who are struggling without. Every penny has to be a prisoner these days.

"When we were contacted about the appeal, we were right on board. If we can help in any way, we can.

"Communities need to stay strong and help one another just now. It's really difficult right now."

Collier Haulage: "Duncan Collier has always supported local good causes in the community and this is no different.

"This foodbank appeal is absolutely necessary and we are delighted to be supporting it.

"It's so difficult for everyone right now. Even teachers are using foodbanks, and that's unbelievable to think about. It shows how bad things are.

"We will do everything we can to help with the appeal.

"Hopefully it can help as many people as possible."

Gas-Tec: "Gas-tec has been established in Dunfermline for 24 years and we cover the whole of Fife.

"We think this is a great initiative and are proud to be sponsoring the Central Fife Times Foodbank Appeal.

"In doing this we are helping people who are struggling in the current climate by encouraging others to help further the supply of emergency food to the foodbanks and in turn support the community during these hard times.

"It is sad in this day and age that people are having to use foodbanks but hopefully with our sponsorship and that of the other sponsors we can make life a little easier for them.

"Foodbanks are struggling to keep up supplies due to high demands at the moment.

"A lot of people give to foodbanks by donating while doing their weekly shopping but this appeal helps to spread the word further and makes it easier for donations to be made.

"We have a very large customer base from all walks of life and we do hear a lot of stories of the struggles people are having during this time of economic crisis.

"We, as a company, try to help by offering OAP discounts and NHS/Blue Light discounts and this initiative is another way we can help our community."

Douglas Robertson, Stagecoach East Scotland Managing Director, said: "We're honoured to be a sponsor for this appeal, which aims to ensure no-one goes hungry in these extremely challenging times.

"Local communities are at the heart of everything we do, and we're very proud to serve Fife."

Please monitor upcoming editions of the Times for updates on the appeal, and remember that on March 15 the collection bags will be inserted into the Times to fill with donations.

We thank you for your support.