A local food bank is hosting a meet and greet for West Dunbartonshire's new and returning councillors.

West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare (WDCF) will welcome Clare Steel, Craig Edward, Jim McElhill and John Millar to the Leven Valley Enterprise Centre on Friday to let them know about the role they play in helping the community.

The manager of the food bank, Clair Coyle, believes it’s important that ventures like theirs work closely with the local authority leaders.

She said: “Because there is a new administration in West Dunbartonshire, we knew that there were a lot of new councillors who had never stood before.

“So, it is more to let them know about the services we provide because we know a lot of people who are in difficult circumstances will contact the councillor or their local MSP looking for help.

“And this is just so that everybody is aware of what help we can give people.”

On the day, councillors will be presented with facts and figures on the charity’s good work helping local residents in their times of need and explain how the project has changed over the last two years following the Covid pandemic.

Cllr Edward said anyone needing help can continue to reach out to either the council or WDCF.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to attending the open day on Friday. This organisation plays a vital role in responding to the needs of our communities during this dire cost of living crisis.

"Too many families are suffering, as in-work poverty shamefully increases, forcing many people to use the Foodshare for the very first time.

“I reaffirm that there is no shame and should be no stigma for anyone seeking help. Please get assistance if you need it. 

"I recognise the valuable work done every day by staff and volunteers as they make life that little bit easier for our residents. Thank you for all that you do.”

SNP Councillor Jim McElhill agreed, admitting he fears what people would do without services such as the WDCF.

He said: "They are providing a much-needed service to our local communities in these tough times.

"It's heart-warming that such services comprise people who dedicate, on a voluntary basis, so much of their time helping others.

I dread to think how things would be without them."