Exeter Foodbank

May 14, 2021 | Jenni Ashford

1 in 5 people in the UK now live in poverty.

The 2021 Club President, Vic Fox, has chosen Exeter Foodbank as his charity of the year. He has chosen this local charity in recognition of the help they provide to those most in need. During the past year, Exeter Foodbank has experienced a greater demand from families from all walks of life. Vic will be organising events during the year to raise money and awareness for the organisation, such as the Club President’s Barbecue Night on Friday 6th August and Golf Days on 21st August and 7th September.

Introducing Exeter Foodbank

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Exeter Foodbank is a charity affiliated to the Trussell Trust.

It has four part time staff – a manager, administrator and logistics worker and an advice worker. The advice worker links those in need to appropriate support services. The foodbank is supported by a further 175 volunteers who collect food, sort it and stock the outlets distributing food to those who need it.

The main reason people state for using the service is low income. Over 31% of Exeter Foodbank clients are now children and families.

Emergency food supplies are issued to anyone experiencing hardship and struggling to put food on the table. Over 150 professional and charitable agencies refer clients to the foodbank including Exeter City Council, CAB, GPs, schools and social workers.

Food is distributed from the Mint Methodist Church and Beacon Heath Community Centre, as well as  the Westbank League of Friends in Exminster, Cranbrook and Broadclyst.

A new food warehouse opened in 2020 at Taverners Farm – The Orange Elephant – which is generously supported by Mr and Mrs Taverner.

Where does the food come from?

Each week over 1 ton of food is collected and distributed by Exeter Foodbank volunteers.

Exeter Foodbank collects food from over 11 major supermarkets, schools, churches , local businesses, voluntary groups and individuals. Some streets have set up their own local collections. Due to the generosity of the people of Exeter, Exeter Foodbank has always had enough food for those in need and has also been able to help other food projects, especially during the lockdown, including the St Thomas and St. Katherine’s Community Larders and Fare Share South West.

The need for emergency food is increasing

Worryingly, since 2014, the amount of food distributed via Exeter Foodbank has more than doubled, with an 18% rise in demand last year alone.

2014/15:  4302 food parcels – 1151 of these to children
2017/18: 6558 food parcels – 1978 of these to children
2019/20: 9024 food parcels – 3048 of these to children

2020: 18% rise in demand for food in one year

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The effect of lockdown

Exeter Foodbank remained open throughout lockdown. The organisation rapidly established a 4 day a week delivery service to clients who were self isolating, disabled or otherwise unable to collect food. At the height of the first lockdown, nearly 50% of foodbank service moved to delivery; helping to keep people safe and at home whilst still receiving the food they needed. A delivery service remains in place now for the very vulnerable and disabled.

How much food is donated?

As demand has increased, luckily the generosity of donors has also increased, rising from 53,000 kg in 2015/6 to 140,000 kg by 2019/20

Local partnerships

At special times including Easter, Mothers Day and Christmas, Exeter Foodbank also provides special extras. This year every child received a £20 Thomas Moore voucher, funded by Exeter Churches, so their parents could choose them a present. All single people and couples were given a £20 Lloyd Maunder meat voucher, which was funded by donations. The foodbank also supplied a full Christmas dinner box including a fresh turkey, with support from Darts Farm with treats at Easter and cream teas for mums on Mothers Day.

How to help

Anyone and everyone can help support Exeter Foodbank. From volunteering to simply donating an item or two when you visit a supermarket, all support will make a direct difference to a local person or family who are struggling.

Supporting Vic’s fundraising events will also help, with the profits from his President’s Night ticket sales going directly to the charity, as well as from competitions taking place on his golf days later this year. If you would like to get involved with sponsorship, please contact Vic via the Reception email.

info@exetergcc.co.uk

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