West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, July 2019
Food parcels since the project began in 2007 - in 12,755
Food parcels so far this year - 820
A year ago we had a visit from ITV West who wanted to find out more about the work of the food cupboard in West Somerset. It was a privilege to be able to tell them about the generosity of people in this area. I told them then that my ambition was to close the cupboard - and it still is. Sadly that seems to be a long way off and the start of the summer holidays saw a rise in demand as families adjusted to having children at home all day.
Recently I arrived at the food cupboard midweek to see that almost all the food boxes had gone out within a few days. It meant that extra boxes had to be packed to ensure that we had enough to last the week and is an indication of the need that there is. We continue to support a number of vulnerable people on a regular basis. As we had anticipated there are families who can just about manage during term time when free school meals are available but struggle to make ends meet while the children are not at school. Thanks to the kindness of all our donors and prompt actions of agencies we are in a position to offer help to people in this position and I have had a number of messages expressing their gratitude.
Fortunately donations have continued to come in over the last couple of weeks so we are able to keep up with the demand. Over the last few weeks several boxes of donated goods have arrived from individuals and groups and some significant financial donations. As ever I am touched by the generosity of so many people in this area.
There has also been an increase in the requests for specialist boxes e.g. gluten free, vegetarian and vegan so items for these requests are very welcome. At this time of year many people have excess vegetables and fruit from their gardens and wonder why we cannot use them. The answer, as I have said before, is that the boxes and bags may be
stored for several days either by us or by the agencies we work with. Sometimes eggs are donated and these can be used as they have a longer shelf life. If we receive perishable goods they are not wasted; if they cannot be given immediately to a regular client they are taken to the YMCA who can use them straightaway for the people they support.
Over the last few months I have included a list of the items that we put in our boxes to help people who wish to donate. We have had a good response to this, as I indicated above. Currently we are really in need of tins of potatoes (preferably the larger tins), tinned peas and carrots, tinned hot meats, and rice. We have lots and lots of pasta and cereal so perhaps avoid these if you are donating.
Thank you all again for your support.
Phone: 07795 080637.
We also have a Facebook page (look for West Somerset Food Cupboard)
Items currently needed for the West Somerset Food Cupboard:
Tinned hot meat
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New double doors into the food cupboard improving access and making better use of the space