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Galloway Cheddar has partnered with food distribution charity FareShare Scotland to launch the ‘Galloway Gathering Project,’ an ambitious new Scotland-wide initiative to combat food poverty and loneliness.

Working with FareShare’s network of community kitchens and cafés, the Scottish cheddar brand will provide the equivalent of 10,000 meals throughout the month of May to residents at community gatherings across Scotland, where attendees can be assured of support, friendship and hot food.

As well supplying 1.2 tonnes of cheddar to make the meals, Galloway Cheddar will also donate an additional £19,500 to support FareShare’s work across Scotland.

Each community kitchen or cafe will also be given packs which, as well as Galloway’s red cheddar, include materials to decorate the venues such as posters and t-shirts to ensure a warm and friendly atmosphere. Galloway Cheddar’s donation will cover the cost of management and distribution by FareShare Scotland.

Galloway was formed in 1959 and is the no.1 Scottish cheddar brand. The company, which currently operates under the Lactalis UK and Ireland umbrella, works with 118 farms located within 75 miles of its Stranraer factory to produce the cheese which is made using 100% Scottish milk. It also holds the Red Tractor endorsement.

Heloise Le Norcy-Trott, Group category and Marketing Director at Lactalis, said: “It may seem a simple gesture to provide someone with a hot meal but our pilot last year demonstrated just what an impact these local kitchens and cafes can make to people’s lives. The food is just the starting point, it is the community support that comes along side this, chatting with a friend, or sharing a cuppa with that can make the word of difference.

“We are delighted to be partnering with FareShare Scotland to help Scottish families and people who need it most and hope this initiative will help to build stronger communities.”

FareShare Scotland is part of the FareShare national network, with four regional centres in Scotland dedicated to fighting hunger and food waste. It distributes good quality surplus food to charities and community groups across all 32 local authorities in Scotland.

Jon Molyneux from FareShare said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the support from Galloway Cheddar. The increase in the cost of living, including food and soaring energy bills, has had a disproportionate impact on people already struggling to make ends meet. Providing food to make meals, as well as a generous donation to cover operational costs, will help us support more people impacted by the cost-of-living crisis in Scotland.”