A lifeline food share service has been set up in one of Tayside’s newest – and shopless – villages.
There are only around 130 families in Bertha Park at the moment – but as the new village, which is still being built, doesn’t have any shops yet, residents face a 40-minute round walk to get to the nearest supermarket.
Rev Anne Stott, community minister for Bertha Park, has now set up a food share initiative to help the residents out during the coronavirus lockdown.
She said: “There are no shops, the bus service has been dropped and there are some folk who are struggling to make ends meet.
“Maybe they have stretched themselves a bit to get their new house, maybe their job has disappeared, or maybe they don’t have much happening right now because they are self-employed or on zero-hours contracts.
“In all areas people are in these situations, and the coronavirus outbreak is only adding to the nightmare.
“If they do not have a car, it is at least 20 minutes to walk to the nearest shops and a 45 minute walk to Tesco, and if your funds are limited you are not going to want to splash out on a taxi.”
Now every Tuesday. between 11am and midday, and Friday, between 3pm and 4pm, Anne sets up a food stall outside Bertha Park High School with items such as pasta, tinned food and fresh fruit and vegetables.
A lot of the food is free, and the rest can be picked up for 20p.
She has also set up a ‘give and take’ box in the village.
Anne continued: “The day after I put up posters in the village I got a call from a woman with two young kids who needed help because she couldn’t get out to do her shopping.
“So even in the first few days, it has been worth it.
“I set up the stall opposite the school and I have left a box for people to pop something in and take what they need when I am not there.
“Over the weekend someone put in some pasta and others had taken stuff out, so it is being used and is serving its purpose.”
She added: “Folk are looking out for their neighbours, but some have only just moved in and might not have had the chance to meet everyone yet.
“It is good to get these links established in case anyone here does fall ill.
“People don’t need to struggle – there is help out there.”