A FOOD project has been working flat out to deliver thousands of meals to vulnerable people and families across parts of East Lothian as some are skipping meals or living on cereal to survive.

Fundamental Foods has launched a crowdfunding page to help it continue the work of its dedicated team who are running two pantries in Prestonpans and Tranent and making deliveries to people in Tranent, Elphinstone, Cockenzie and Port Seton and Prestonpans.

Lorna Bellany, from the project, which is run by Pennypit Community Development Trust, said they had delivered 1,200 meals last week with up to 1,800 expected to be delivered this week.

And she revealed the desperate situations some people had been living in as they tried to self isolate or stay at home.

She said: “We’ve had some amazing feedback from people from all backgrounds: we even found out that an elderly couple had only eaten corn flakes for two weeks prior to our support and there’s many individuals that were skipping meals as they didn’t know how long their cupboard stocks would last.”

Fundamental Foods is estimating it is now making more than 170 deliveries every day, not including the meals.

The pantries, which are run out of the Pennypit Centre, in Prestonpans, and St Martin’s RC Church Hall, Tranent, also provide people with food bags, recipe bags, and toiletries as well as hot meals and pre-cooked meals.

They received donations from local restaurants and food outlets who closed following the lockdown however stocks are diminishing and restrictions on shopping have not helped.

Lorna said: “We are currently using donated foods to give out that we get through Fareshare, from the local store surplus, community donations and we also got a lot of donations from restaurants and food outlets that were closed after government advice which was hugely helpful.

“Our food donations are really kind however with shop restrictions in place and stores not having a lot of surplus - our stocks are diminishing quickly.

“We are working closely with the local community councils, housing associations, GPs, day centres and health visitors to gain more referrals and reach out to those in need.”

Ruth Davie, Pennypit Trust manager, who is overseeing the Tranent pantry operations at the moment, has issued an appeal for donations to help continue the work.

Donations of food/toiletries can be dropped off at both pantries between 11am and 1pm.

To help fund the project go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fundamental-foods