West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, April 2023

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard

 The main headline this month is that the need for food parcels is increasing, and food donations are decreasing. Of course, we understand why – everyone’s feeling the pinch, some more significantly than others. So we remain very grateful to our reliable donors of non-perishable food items and funds.  If you are in a position to help us again, either personally or by organising a collection point in your community, club, organisation, church or business, these are the items that we are now almost out of. Please help us, if you can, to make sure that there is enough food for everyone.

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

  • Tinned potatoes
  • Tinned cold meat
  • Small jars coffee
  • Jam or marmalade
  • Jars of pasta sauce
  • Savoury crackers/crisps
  • Squash or juice
  • Individual desserts

In March 2023, 182 food parcels of varying sizes depending on the household, were distributed across the local community: that’s a 37% increase on last month and makes 457 so far this year as compared with 268 at this point last year. You can see why we need your help please.

The Tuesday Pantry has grown since our last newsletter. We have expanded the membership to enable more people to participate. Around 60% of the surplus food that we distribute comes from FareShare. Since we opened last May FareShare tell us that we have rescued 6.37 tonnes of food that would otherwise have been wasted (the same weight as 21 bears!), and 2.55 tonnes of CO2 has been saved (the C02 equivalent of 9 flights from London to Edinburgh). The expanded membership has supply implications so, in additional to FareShare supplies, we are seeking new local supplies of surplus food. We’d love to hear from any local producer, grower, allotment holder, egg supplier or hospitality provider who may be willing to talk with us about any surplus food that they might have.

As well as keeping the emergency food provision and pantry going each week, the West Somerset Food Cupboard team have been busy training in First Aid and Manual Handling during March. We are very grateful to Richard and Diane Newton from Evince Training and the Minehead Community Defib Group for facilitating this for us. We’ve been able to review all aspects of our work in light of the training and are keeping each other safer as a result.

Our trustee board is looking to increase its number. If you have experience of or are interested in charity trusteeship, and could bring specific skills to the team, we’d love to hear from you.

The Minehead Area Food Forum is meeting on 20th April. It’s a useful opportunity for all those providing any food resilience related service or activity in the area to meet to share information and address any gaps in provision. Please get in touch for details.

With grateful thanks and Happy Easter wishes from the West Somerset Food Cupboard team

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