West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, September 2022

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard

Firstly, we want you to know that the charity is actively exploring its response to the very real cost of living crisis as it affects local residents. With the help of our generous donors, we are working hard with local partners to ensure continued supplies of emergency food.

Throughout August, 101 emergency food parcels were distributed across the local community; the total so far this year is 741. 

If you represent a group or organisation planning a Harvest Festival celebration in the next few weeks, with a view to donating produce to the West Somerset Food Cupboard, please can you talk to us first so that we can co-ordinate this. Thank you.

The Local Pantry team and members were pleased to welcome High Sheriff of Somerset Jennifer Duke when she joined us last Tuesday to find out more about the work of the charity. Jennifer was able to meet the volunteers who tirelessly prepare and stock the Pantry with surplus fresh, chilled and non-perishable food, before they then help Pantry members collect their produce for a weekly fee of £3.50. As usual, members were busy sharing ideas for economical use of the food that they collected, including using slow cookers and batch cooking, and avoiding waste.

Key objectives from Jennifer’s role are to promote local produce and focus on the issue of child food poverty, so the visit was an ideal opportunity to see how the charity puts this into action. She saw how the emergency food cupboard is organised to provide non-perishable food parcels of different types: Family food boxes, small household food bags, food bags for individuals with cooking facilities and food bags for individuals with no cooking facilities. Jennifer commented “I found the visit very helpful in understanding how the West Somerset Food Cupboard is alleviating food poverty and supporting families in finding ways to become more resilient.  They are also addressing the problem of food waste, and ensuring they are ready to support local families as we move into a challenging winter with an energy crisis and period of high inflation.”

There are many pieces to the jig-saw that makes the work of the West Somerset Food Cupboard possible, from the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel, to the trustees, volunteers, donors of both funds and food (including locally growers), shops and other venues who provide collection points, and agency partners who help us get the food to those who need it most. Whichever part you play we want to say thank you. And if you want to find out more about ways of contributing and getting involved, please do get in touch!

A bit of feedback from one food parcel recipient that we want to share with you: 

“I want to say thank you to the foodbank people in Alcombe as they gave me food and hope.”

If you are in a position to continue to help with food donations, here is the list of items that we are currently running low on:

  • Tins of fruit
  • Biscuits – savoury and sweet
  • Hot chocolate
  • Granulated sugar
  • Small bottles squash

From Ali, Mike and the West Somerset Food Cupboard team

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