A demonstration is planned at the council’s budget meeting today, amid a row between a community foodbank and a charity.
Samantha Bruce, the boss of Lochee Larder, claims Fareshare is failing to consider the needs of the hungry by refusing to amicably settle an ongoing dispute.
The Lochee Community Larder and Food For Thought, a project based in the Charleston Community Centre, had its links with Fareshare severed last year.
It was receiving tinned food produce from the charity’s partners – which include Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s – but now has to buy in food itself, at a greater cost.
Fareshare says it has concerns over food safety standards at the Lochee larder but Samantha, who runs both, claims they are being treated unfairly.
Now larder volunteers and activists from Unite the Community will lobby councillors at tomorrow’s budget meeting to sign their petition, which has has gathered 207 signatures to date in protest at Fareshare’s decision.
Samantha said: “They’ve (Fareshare) just said point blank they’re not willing to discuss it but they’re not giving us a reason.
“Fareshare are the only people that do what they do – they’ve got all the contracts with all the big stores.
“They’re being absolutely unreasonable, without a doubt.”
Dundee West MP Chris Law has offered to be the neutral party in a mediation process but the charity has refused to enter into further talks, stating: “Our decision is final.”
Mr Law said: “Whilst it is still unclear if a resolution is possible, I will continue to do all I can to work with both parties in a bid to find a satisfactory outcome.”
Local councillor Charlie Malone has given his support to the larder’s fight, noting: “The Lochee Community Larder provides essential services to our community; food poverty is a real issue in the area.”
Since news of the dispute broke the larders have been inundated with donations, including £150 from members of trade union Unite.
Without a stable source of long-term support Samantha says she and her team will struggle.
She added: “We’re getting by but we’re just trying to think of alternatives to what we’re doing to keep going. It’s so frustrating, because Fareshare know that.
“I think they just want me to let this go but they aren’t seeing the bigger picture of the fact people are going hungry.”
Samantha says she isn’t giving up in her fight to win back FareShare’s support for the larders.
Fareshare, however, claims re-entering into a contract with the larders could compromise its operations in Tayside.
A spokeswoman said: “We need to be extremely confident every charity handling our food is able meet standards, otherwise there is a risk Fareshare Tayside and Fife would cease to operate.
“In this particular case, because we are not confident the organisation would be able to meet our food safety standards in the future, unfortunately, this decision is final.”