Kind-hearted souls across Dumbarton and the Vale are once again proving that the spirit of loving and giving is well and truly alive in the area this Christmas.

Food for Thought at St Augustine’s will be welcoming vulnerable and lonely members of the community on December 25 for a three course meal and a gift, while Del Bonini will also be opening his new premises at 309 Main Street, Alexandria, to feed those less fortunate on the big day for free.

Del told the Reporter: “A friend of mine lost her job and has had a rough time of it. I took her to the food bank and it made me realise the real struggle people are facing.

“People can pop down and have something to eat with us and hopefully enjoy a good chat. We are planning to open at 12 and we’ll make sure we have plenty of soup and sandwiches.”

Food for Thought and its volunteers will be picking residents up on Christmas Day before tucking into a meal.

Caroline Marsland, project coordinator, said: “A man came for emergency food aid on Friday. He has been on his own for seven years. That is unacceptable. We’ll pick him up on Christmas Day and he’ll have it with us.

“It’s incredible the number of people who come and help on Christmas Day. The majority of the food will be donated and we have already had an indication that we are getting turkeys.”

Balloch Primary, meanwhile, are among the schools, churches, nurseries, individuals and other organisations who have donated non-perishable goods to West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare during the festive period.

They showed trustee Mary Marra what they had collected when she visited last Friday.