West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, October 2021
Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard,
We are so grateful for all the support that you give to the Food Cupboard, whether by donating food, funds or time, or by making sure that those who would benefit from some emergency food know how to access it.
Over the past couple of weeks our cupboards have been bulging at the seams thanks to generous harvest festival donations. Thank you to all who donated, collected and delivered the food to the cupboard - it won't be there for long as we pack up new boxes every Monday ready for distribution across the community.
We do sometimes find ourselves with an abundance of one type of food and a shortage of another, so we try to keep our notices about this current (as summarised below).
We don't currently need:
• rice or pasta
• tins of soup or tomatoes
• tins of fish
• tins of meat
We would welcome:
• small portion meal items
• UHT milk (1 and 2 pint), and juice
• sugar, and small jars coffee
• tins of fruit
• tins of spaghetti hoops or macaroni cheese
• biscuits (sweet and savoury)
The Co-op fruit and veg gift card scheme has been well received and is being well used.
As you will be aware, the majority of our food boxes are distributed by partner agencies who are supporting the recipients with any challenges that they might be facing. We wanted to make it easier for people to find out which is the most appropriate way to turn for help, so we've put together an information leaflet. This too has received positive feedback, with one food box recipient telling us that the leaflet made something that seemed complicated ‘dead easy'. Copies can be sent to you.
76 food boxes have been distributed during September, making the total for this year so far 786. They were distributed via the West Somerset Advice Bureau, Village Agents, Home-Start, West Somerset College, Magna, Job Centre and 6 through private individuals who were also directed to relevant support services.
Although we are now largely free of lockdown restrictions, many are experiencing new challenges, including the temporary Universal Credit uplift being reversed, debt acquired due to job insecurity during the pandemic, threat of eviction, and energy costs rising. This week we became aware of a family who, despite working hard and juggling responsibilities, simply can't make ends meet due to several unexpected incidents that happened in close succession. But they were too embarrassed to seek help. A family member made contact with the Food Cupboard on their behalf and food was quickly and discreetly provided, along with reassurance that there is no shame in seeking support and that there is support available.
Our greatest hope is that one day the food cupboard won't be needed, but meanwhile one of our greatest concerns is that there are still people in our community, of all ages, who struggle to afford food, are sometimes hungry, and don't know that the food cupboard is there to help. Please help us spread the word.
West Somerset Food Cupboard Temporary Co-ordinator and Project Development Worker
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone 07795 080637 or use FaceBook message
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New double doors into the food cupboard improving access and making better use of the space