Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has donated more than £33,000 of food to causes in need in Scotland while its ships are in lay-up in Rosyth, with the help of food distribution charity FareShare.

Equating to more than 30 pallets worth of food, treats included everything from cereals, biscuits, dried fruits, and nuts and seeds, to jams and sauces, chocolates, cured meats, baking ingredients, rice and more.

The donations came from the cruise line’s four ocean ships Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch, which are currently located at Babcock’s Rosyth facilities during the suspension of sailings, and were collected by FareShare, which works to support those in difficult circumstances, including isolation, poverty or homelessness.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines hotel operations director, Thomas Rennesland, said:

“We are used to feeding in excess of 4,000 guests and crew across our fleet every day, and while we have not taken on any additional fresh produce since we paused our operations in March – other than that required to feed our crew – our stores and freezers were fully stocked and ready for cruising as normal.

“As our ships have been in the Rosyth area since March it seemed only fitting to donate these additional food items to those who need it most in Scotland.

Black Watch

“The crew on board have worked extremely hard, in addition to their usual duties, to prepare all of the food items so that they are ready for collection by FareShare and I would like to thank all involved for their efforts for this very worthy cause.

“Thank you also to the Sailors’ Society Port Chaplain for Leith and Forth, who made the donation possible.”

FarShare regional food officer in Scotland, Teresa McGoldrick, said:

“The entire team at FareShare Scotland is enormously grateful for the substantial products received from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. This food will be hugely welcomed by the hundreds of community organisations we serve supporting the elderly and vulnerable at home during this very difficult time.

“FareShare Scotland supports over 700 charity and community groups across Scotland including hostels, day centres, lunch clubs and young people’s projects and during this really difficult time it’s becoming very clear that food is the glue bringing communities together. The need now is greater than ever.

“The support from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is the equivalent of 30,000 meals to the most vulnerable people. That is the amazing difference this donation and others like it make to the lives of people in our communities. Heartfelt thank you from us all.”

Fred Olsen’s fleet of four ocean ships sailed to Firth of Forth when the cruise line announced its pause in operations on 13 March, where they remained at anchor before relocating to Babcock’s Rosyth facilities at the end of May.

The cruise line announced in April that it would be extending its pause in operations past 23 May, and continues to assess all upcoming cruises on a weekly basis.

This isn’t the first act of kindness displayed by Fred Olsen since the coronavirus outbreak; the cruise line has been working with its contacts in Barbados to support local charities with a donation of fresh produce from a container of food supplies intended for its ship, Braemar.

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