West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, March 2023

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard

Pancake day at the Tuesday Pantry was flipping marvellous! We were all treated to freshly flipped cheesy bean pancakes prepared by volunteers Linda and Mary, who also produced pancake packs and recipes sheets for everyone to take home. Delicious! 

The Pantry continues to be very popular, and we’ve been working on ways of reducing the waiting list for those keen to participate, starting with increasing our membership capacity. Increasing the number of households that we can include has implications, particularly at this time when supplies of fresh produce are limited. So, if you know of any local producer, grower, supplier or hospitality provider who may be willing to talk with us about any surplus food that they might have, please put us in touch. Applications to join the waiting list for the Pantry can be made via the Get Help page.

We are growing the West Somerset Food Cupboard team and are currently advertising a part-time Operations Assistant role.

The West Somerset Food Cupboard can’t operate any of its projects without our brilliant volunteers who carry out a wide range of tasks every week – this week including the unenviable task of deep cleaning – always with cheerful chat alongside. In the next few weeks they will also be taking part in training on first aid, manual handling, food hygiene and allergens. Our rota for the next month is full but if you’ve offered your support, we’ll let you know as and when gaps arise.

 Thank you to all our reliable donors of non-perishable food items and funds. You enable us to keep responding in a timely and appropriate way to ever-changing need. The list of current shortages is the same as last month. If you are able to contribute any of these items we’d be very grateful. You can find collection points on the map or just get in touch. Thank you for your continued generosity.

Any non-perishable food items are gratefully received. This month we would really appreciate:

  • Tinned potatoes
  • Tinned sweetcorn
  • Tinned carrots
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned cold meat
  • Jars of pasta sauce
  • Savoury biscuits
  • Squash or juice
  • UHT milk

In February 2023, 133 food parcels of varying sizes depending on the household, were distributed across the local community: 114 of them via our partner agencies, and 19 of them, in special circumstances, by our volunteers. That makes 275 so far this year as compared with 178 at this point last year. We look forward to the day when we can tell you that these numbers are going down, not up!

We are happy to be working closely with local partners to ensure that gaps in food provision are identified and filled, and that resources aren’t wasted on duplicated activities. The Minehead Area Food Forum provides a great opportunity for us to share information about the various services and projects that are underway. The next meeting of the forum will be in April. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Finally, the Benefact Group have announced that their 2023 ‘Movement for Good’ round of giving will kick off soon and they will be donating over £1 million to UK charities. They are accepting nominations already, so we’d be very grateful if you’d nominate ‘West Somerset Food Cupboard’, charity number 1198591 by following this link: Movement for Good nomination .

With gratitude and warm wishes from the West Somerset Food Cupboard team

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