West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, May 2022

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard

We’ve got sooooo much to tell you! 

Some of you will be aware that this time last year a project was carried out to consider the causes and impacts of food poverty in West Somerset, to survey what existing services were already responding to food poverty needs in the area, to consider external models of good practice and to develop the WSFC in the light of the findings. Some of the outcomes of this project are now coming to fruition thanks to the support of many of you reading this. 

A new ‘West Somerset Food Cupboard’ charity has been established. The work of the Food Cupboard is still very much embedded in and supported by the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Alcombe where it began in 2007, but establishing it as a separate charity now opens up new opportunities for its work. A new trustee board has been formed and new policies and procedures developed to support a robust present and future for the charity. We are grateful to all our new trustees for sharing their time, skills and experience with us, and to Jenny Hannis from SPARK Somerset for her advice. 

A fabulous new website www.wsfoodcupboard.org.uk (you’re here if you’re reading this!) has been developed for us by James Cooper of jpc-design.com to whom we are very grateful; we hope you’ll take a look. 

A Local Pantry is opening at the Food Cupboard on Tuesday 10th May. This is a membership scheme that enables local people to access fresh, chilled and non-perishable supermarket surplus food and other produce at very low cost. Please do read about this new initiative and how to apply for membership on the Get Help page of our website. We do have printed leaflets also, so if you’d like some please ask. In order to make this happen, appropriate permissions had to be sought, funds applied for, and a new structure built to accommodate the facilities needed to get it underway. The membership application process is now open to anyone living with a 15-minute journey of Alcombe, who would like to help reduce food waste, and who would benefit from affordable food. Many people have contributed their time, skills, funds and resources (including locks, lino and love!) to get this off the ground. We have been supported by Somerset West and Taunton Council Local Pantries scheme, the CCS Smart Communities Food Resilience Grant Scheme and FareShare SW as well as helpful local businesses and many generous individual donors. We are so grateful to you all! 

The provision of emergency free food for those in crisis will continue as it has for the past 15 years at the WSFC and, in additional to its normal provision, is currently helping support some Ukrainian refugees as they arrive here in our community. 

 96 food parcels have been distributed during April, and food has been provided for other community groups working to support those experiencing food insecurity. 

None of the above would be possible without generous donors, food collection point hosts and our wonderful team of dedicated volunteers. 

Any non-perishable food items are gratefully received. This month we are low on:

  • UHT milk (1pt and 2pt)
  • Custard & rice pudding
  • Granulated sugar
  • Tinned ham

Thank you all for the part that you play

From Ali and the Food Cupboard team

Leave a comment