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.
The donations, which equated to over 30 pallets worth of food, included cereals, biscuits, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, jams and sauces, chocolates, cured meats, baking ingredients, rice and more, all from its four ocean ships Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch.
The items were collected from Babcock’s Rosyth facilities, where the four ships are currently located, by FareShare, which works to support those in difficult circumstances, including isolation, poverty or homelessness.
Thomas Rennesland, Hotel Operations Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, 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.
“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.”
Teresa McGoldrick, Regional Food Officer Scotland for FareShare, said:
“The entire team at FareShare Scotland are 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.”
Pauline Robertson, Sailors' Society's Leith port chaplain, said:
"It's wonderful that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines wanted to benefit the local community and not let the food go to waste. We have a great relationship with the local agents and food banks, so when the call came through about the donation, I knew exactly where to direct them. We're supporting many seafaring families through the pandemic and it's amazing to see something positive come out of these tough times."
The four ships sailed to the Firth of Forth when Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced its pause in operations on 13th March, where they remained at anchor before relocating to Babcock’s Rosyth facilities at the end of May.
Fred. Olsen announced in April that it would be extending its pause in operations past 23rd May, and continues to assess all upcoming cruises on a weekly basis. Any guests who are booked onto cancelled sailings will be contacted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, with at least 30 days’ notice prior to the planned departure date.
For more information on Sailors' Society, visit www.sailors-society.org
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.