MEMBERS of the public have been urged to continue making donations to East Lothian Foodbank during the coronavirus outbreak.

The foodbank, based in Tranent, provides food parcels to vulnerable members of the community.

Candace Higgins, foodbank director, said the situation was changing “hour by hour”, adding: “We are still operating as normal but certain protocols have been put in place when delivering food parcels.”

Volunteers making deliveries are now simply knocking on doors or ringing bells, rather than waiting for doors to be opened to them. The parcels can then be left in safe places, while, at the charity’s headquarters on Civic Square, “stringent cleanliness and health and safety rules” are in place.

Candace praised the local community for their continued support in making donations to the group.

She said: “We are really benefiting from having such a fantastic community. Donations have gone up rather than down.”

However, she also issued a call for people to stop panic or bulk buying.

She added: “We are running low on chopped tomatoes, long-life fruit juice, instant mash potato and tinned potatoes. In terms of household items, it would be the same things as everyone else is running low on – kitchen roll, toilet roll and baby wipes.”

The foodbank is staffed by volunteers and Candace said they anticipated a number of volunteers who are over the age of 70 would have to remain in their homes over the coming weeks, with a reduced schedule of deliveries. Instead, moves could be made to change the model to a pantry and larder model.

The foodbank was visited at the end of last week by the county’s MP, Kenny MacAskill, who met with 60 volunteers.

He said: “The foodbank is a treasure, but the circumstances that have made these projects so important are the result of bad choices by successive Governments.

“It’s especially important now with the coronavirus pandemic that we continue to support our local foodbank to make sure those in crisis are able to have at least the comfort of a hot meal.”