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

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

The foodbanks in Benarty and Cowdenbeath, which are overseen by Dunfermline Foodbank, make such a difference to so many lives and are more valuable than ever to those who need them.

It’s no surprise that with spiralling energy bills and rising food costs, more people are struggling financially and an increasing number are being forced to look to the foodbank for support.

But that, in turn, means the foodbank is struggling too – to keep up with demand for its services.

That's why we need your help.

Next week's Times will include a free donation bag and we are asking that, if you can, please give a donation to the foodbank.

Sandra Beveridge, Dunfermline Foodbank project manager, said: "We have been here for the last 10 years, and as shocking as that is, we are needed now more than ever.

"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.

"For the Times to offer us a food appeal is amazing and couldn't come at a better time as donations drop and bills take a grip on people."

Our appeal is generously supported by local sponsors: Carlucci Restaurant, Stagecoach, Timber Direct, Collier Haulage, James McCreadie & Sons, and Gas Tec.

Fife Provost Jim Leishman is also urging our readers to support the appeal.

While it's depressing that foodbanks are so badly needed in the first place, Provost Leishman is at least heartened and encouraged by the incredible community spirit shown by many to support those who find themselves in less fortunate situations.

He said: “I'm seeing more and more boxes and baskets for people to put a foodbank donation into, so that's great. If everyone gave something it would be tremendous.

"The Times have been great at promoting this and keeping it going. Many people need a helping hand, so let's keep it going and let's keep thinking about others."

The foodbank quickly runs out of household items, such as tinned foods including meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables, long life milk, coffee and tea, sugar, and toiletries. They are also in need of Pot Noodles, Cuppa Soups and Mug Shots, as they are ideal for clients who cannot afford or access cooking facilities.

With the help of our readers, we can make sure that the foodbank has enough stock to help those who need its support the most.

Items collected in your donation bag included in next week’s Times can be dropped off at the Benarty and Cowdenbeath foodbanks.

Benarty is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while Cowdenbeath is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, both 4 to 6pm.

Or you can take them to the foodbank’s warehouse at Unit 1C, Pitreavie Business Park, Dunfermline, on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between 4pm and 6pm.

Alternatively, the foodbank operates permanent collection points in the local Tesco and Asda stores, so donations can also be made there.

Thank you so much for your support and generosity.