West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, March 2020

Food parcels since the project began in 2007 - 13,947           Food parcels so far this year - 390

Dear Friends,

Well what strange times we are living through! A month ago I was storing an excess of beans and pasta but that has all changed and dramatically so over the past two weeks. With the restrictions put in place to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 many people have had to stop work or close their businesses and the demand for food parcels has shot up. Last week we sent out nearly 60parcels! I suspect that we will continue to see increased need for the duration of the current crisis.
Initially I was concerned that we would not have sufficient food items to sustain our service at an increased level but we now have new lines of supply thanks to the support of Somerset Community Council, Fareshare and local supermarkets. I am also very grateful to so many of you who have continued to make donations of food in very challenging circumstances and have also supported us financially. The support that we have received has been quite overwhelming. Please forgive me if I have not been able to acknowledge all the donations received individually, it does not mean that I am ungrateful - just very busy. Thank you all.
We have changed the way we operate in the food cupboard itself to minimise the risk to our volunteers and this coming to collect food parcels. Most of our regular volunteers have had to self isolate but we have a good group of temporary volunteers who have learned the procedures very quickly. Our new procedures mean that we are able to work together while maintaining the required distance from one another. We are also following strict hygiene procedures as you would expect and contingency plans should any of us become ill.
We do not know how long this current emergency will last but I believe that we are now in a good position to be able to meet the needs of vulnerable people across West Somerset for however long this current situation continues.
I am including a list of the items that we use for our boxes, to help people who wish to donate. I hope you may be willing to pass on the list to those who are interested as we are constantly in need of all these items while demand is high.
Long life milk
Tinned fruit
Tinned spaghetti
Tinned tomatoes
Tinned potatoes, peas, carrots and other veg.
Tinned custard or pudding rice
Tinned cold meats
Pasta sauce
Savoury biscuits
Fruit juice.
For those of you who use social media just a reminder that the food cupboard has a Facebook page. Newsletters and other updates will appear on this and I also use it to let people know which food items are most needed. If you are facebook user please look for ‘W S Food Cupboard' and if possible like and share so that it is seen as widely as possible.
Thank you all again for your support.

Ann Gibbs

Email: foodcupboardws@outlook.com
Phone: 07795 080637.
We also have a Facebook page (look for West Somerset Food Cupboard)

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Food cupboard June 2018New double doors into the food cupboard improving access and making better use of the space 

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