In November, over three hundred of the Vic’s late night guests arrived bearing food in lieu of a cash entry fee. Advertised as a public food drive, Harvest Throwback recommended a dash to Tesco in the waning eleventh hour, encouraging students to spend 50p on a packet of pasta rather than surrendering three pounds to the Vic’s door. The logic was sound, and the majority of Throwback Thursday’s attendees gamely filled several bins to the brim throughout the night. The food was then donated to Storehouse, a local food bank.
From 62A Largo Road, Storehouse quietly provides food parcels to Fife’s most vulnerable individuals, be they victims of financial difficulties, abusive situations, or family crises. Run by the Kingdom Vineyard Church, the charity offers parcels filled with nonperishable food and household products, the goal being to ease the lives of the struggling recipients. Despite being such a small community, Fife is rife with those in need of such help: Storehouse regularly gives out over fifty parcels a month, and this past March saw their stores significantly depleted as their growing reach necessitated over one hundred parcels being distributed.
For this reason, the most recent Harvest Throwback event came at a crucial time for Storehouse. Morag Steele, Storehouse Coordinator, explains that the food bank was struggling in the light of such a hectic month:
“To be honest, we were starting to look at some empty shelves and were struggling to put together well-balanced food parcels. We are so pleased to be reaching more and more people in need in our community, but this means we need to keep receiving more and more donations.”
In addition to the six bins of food donated last month, the Vic included every penny supplied by guests who, having arrived too late for Tesco, paid the standard entry fee. Totalling £345, the money can be used to stave of stock depletion, as Storehouse must often give out more food than it takes in. Donations are constantly needed, be they through large scale events like Harvest Throwback or through individuals in possession of a few extra tins of fish.
The event itself was organised by Ashton Squires, who in turn found his inspiration from a previous Vic manager. He and the club partnered to launch Harvest Throwback, initially a one-off event that, in the wake of its success, returned for a second round this past semester. “Lots of people recommend Storehouse to me,” says Ashton. “It was evident they were making such a positive impact within St Andrews itself.”
The Vineyard Centre on Largo Road acts as Storehouse’s local base of operations, where anyone may drop off donations on Tuesdays between 11 am and 1 pm or Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 4 pm. Storehouse is always looking for in-date, non-perishable food items, toiletries and household products, things that we tend to take for granted in our own lives. Discounted entry to the Vic certainly acted as Harvest Throwback’s selling point, but the good accomplished by the event should not be undersold.
Morag enthuses: “We are so grateful for Ashton and the guys at the Vic for thinking of us and doing this completely off their own backs.” Generally, Storehouse relies on donations from local schools and churches; however, the impact of a single individual would not go unappreciated. Located just across the street from Marks & Spencer, Storehouse is accessible to any St Andrews resident who hopes to make a difference.