A LOCAL councillor said Fife Council are propping up Lo'gelly Lunches with an "awful lot of money".

The Cowdenbeath area committee agreed to a request for £10,000 from the voluntary group on Wednesday, just a few months after giving them £5,000 from the same anti-poverty budget in December.

They help to feed around 150 people every week at Lochgelly Town Hall but several members said there were concerns about the "sustainability" of the community food provider.

Cllr Lea McLelland said she wouldn't object to the request but said: "We have just watched a club (Kids Come First) in this area, which was a charitable organisation, where funds were stopped and a much-needed facility was then put to bed and people left in a terrible state because they had no childcare provision.

Central Fife Times: SNP councillor for Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty, Lea McLelland. SNP councillor for Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty, Lea McLelland. (Image: Fife Council)

"We spoke time and again about the amount of money they were coming to us for and how we were actually sustaining that model.

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"At what point with Lo'gelly Lunches do we say we can't sustain it any more?

"That's an awful lot of money they're getting."

Established in 2019, Lo'gelly Lunches offers a weekly space for local people to gather, socialise and have lunch together.

When the pandemic struck the volunteer group "answered the call" from the council to support much-needed food distribution.

The committee was told around 100 people visit Lo'gelly Lunches every week and the volunteers help to feed around 150 people per week.

They've spent more than £45,000 since last April to keep the community pantry stocked with food.

Community development team manager, Izzy Scott-Trimm, told the committee said that "funds are low" and council officers have also given support to the group on how to apply for external funding.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, who cycled to raise funds for the group last year, said there were "concerns with the internal governance" of Lo'gelly Lunches. 

However she said she was reassured that officers wouldn't proceed with the funding application if there was anything that would bring the council into "disrepute".

Cllr Mary Lockhart said the group had made changes and added: "I'm concerned about almost an aspersion that's being cast on them about their governance simply because it's the first time I've heard it.

"There has been some concern about their accounting procedures but my understanding is that has now been rectified."

Ms Scott-Trimm said they were working with Lo'gelly Lunches and other community food providers in the area to find a sustainable model.

Committee convener Alex Campbell said: "You've got to remember the work they're doing and what they're providing for the local community is massive.

"Obviously we recognise there are some issues with their funding but there is support now in place to help them get that external funding."