AN engineering firm has provided one of Scotland's busiest food banks with new premises after volunteers were forced to store groceries in their own homes.

Renfrewshire Food Bank has already provided vital food donations for over 5,500 people this year - nearly a quarter of them children.

But it has limited warehouse space, causing major logistical issues for the charity, and its volunteers, who often have to store food themselves. So far the food bank has occupied space on an industrial estate, rented from Renfrewshire Council at a peppercorn rent.

But the service - at one stage Scotland's third busiest foodbank, although it has now been overtaken - has outgrown the space, leaving volunteers forced to keep food in homes, cars and garages.

Today energy industry specialist Doosan Babcock will announce a long-term partnership with the food bank, including a new permanent warehouse for the service at its Renfrewshire HQ.

While improving working conditions for existing volunteers to store and sort donated food, the company will also encourage employees to volunteer to support the charity to expand.

Renfrewshire Food Bank Chairman Reverend Graeme Clark will receive the keys to the warehouse from Doosan Babcock Vice President, Andy Colquhoun at an opening ceremony today, before volunteers begin processing an eight tonne backlog of food that has already been stored.

Mr Colquhoun said: "I'm very proud that this new centre will be based at our site, and am looking forward to working closely with the Renfrewshire Food Bank in future.

"It is humbling to see the great work that goes on every week and I'm heartened that Doosan Babcock can play a vital role in supporting the volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time to helping others.

Rev Clark added: "I am delighted that Doosan Babcock expressed their care for the people of Renfrewshire, the vulnerable and the hungry, in such a helpful, practical and wonderful way.

"We greatly appreciate the work the staff have done and look forward to a continuing partnership that enables us to meet a growing need."

Ewan Gurr, Scotland development officer for the Trussell Trust, which runs Renfrewshire Food Bank, said handling 50 tonnes of food a year stretched the resources of local volunteers, although the charity's network ensured food rarely went to waste.

In the context of a recession, donating space to charity could benefit a company by saving on business rates while making a tremendous difference to local voluntary organisations, he added.

Doosan Babcock's employees across the UK are doing charitable work today as part of a day of community service. Employees in Renfrewshire are also involved in the construction of a memorial garden at St James Primary School, and upgrading the Cherrie Centre nursery.

Simon Hopkins, director of corporate social responsibility for the company, said the day of service would now take place every six months.

"Corporate social responsibility remains an integral part of our business, and this initiative is a fantastic way for us to pursue that while reaching those most in need," he said.

It comes as councillors are due to meet today to discuss a report into poverty in Renfrewshire which called for more action to help families in the area.

The Tackling Poverty Commission panel spoken to one woman who compared the feeling of being denied benefit money for being late for a Jobcentre appointment to her experiences as a victim of domestic violence.

The Paisley woman in her 40s, now in work, said she would rather go hungry than sign back on for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA).

The commission, set up by Renfrewshire Council last April, issued 24 recommendations and asked the UK Government to "re-think" benefit sanctions.

It wants to see the number of workers paid less than the Living Wage halved and provision of flexible childcare.