West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, November 2023

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard,

This month’s newsletter is full of ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’ as none of what we do happens without the support of this community.

We’ve been so grateful for all the many Harvest Festival donations received over the past few weeks. They’ve helped top up our store cupboards, which is a constant challenge, and enabled us to keep packing up emergency food parcels ready for delivery. Pictured left is Food Cupboard operations assistant Tracey happily receiving St. Michael’s First School Harvest contributions from Children and Families Exmoor Youth Project worker Lynne.

Our thanks also to the team at Foxes Hotel who are putting on two fundraising Tapas evenings on 2nd (sold out) and 9th November to help us pay for the Christmas food parcels. Pictured right are Mark and Sean from Foxes making arrangements with Ali. For details see Foxes Facebook Page or call them on 01643 704450.

And the autumn produce received for the Tuesday Pantry from local growers has been phenomenal – thank you all! Apples keep on coming and pumpkins have got us all getting creative in the kitchen. Lovely Linda’s recent creations to inspire us all included delicious Pumpkin Spiced Scones and Pumpkin, Cheddar and Pumpkin Seed Bread. See picture and recipes on our Facebook page.

Our Tuesday Pantry is part of a network of nine Local Pantries in Somerset and the network was delighted to win the Fareshare South West (FSSW) Social Impact Awards for Community and Sustainability at a recent event in Bristol. Roni Adjei, Head of Region at FSSW, said: “I would like to laud the innovative way the network of has approached supporting their communities and tackling hunger. The achievement of the Network so far should form an effective blueprint for other local authorities and community initiatives to follow.” This little film gives a glimpse of how the Pantries work.

As well as the Pantry, the Emergency Food Parcel provision continues to work hard to keep up with the need. In October 2023, we distributed 124 emergency food parcels; a total of 1217 so far this year, compared with 976 this time last year. We thank all the local organisations that we partner with to get food to those in greatest need. And it’s our volunteer team (operational and trustees volunteers) who keep all this going week in, week out, so a big thank you to every one of them, as always, for their unique and much appreciated contribution.

So, to the ‘pleases’: If you are able to help, any non-perishable food is welcomed, but the items that we are currently running really low on are here (right). And as well as the usual store cupboard basics, throughout November we are collecting Christmas food items for the Christmas parcels which will be distributed in the first week of December.

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

  • Small jars coffee
  • Small bottles squash
  • UHT milk
  • Tinned cold meat
  • Jars pasta sauce
  • Savoury biscuits

Christmas Items

  • Christmas puddings
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolates
  • Mince Pies
  • Pickles
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy

Finally, could you support the West Somerset Food Cupboard with a one-off or regular monthly financial donation?

We know that many of you who read this newsletter already support what we do in many ways, and we are very grateful, but there is a growing need for food support in this community and by giving a regular donation you could help us plan for continuation of the service for as long as it is needed. West Somerset is ranked as within the worst 20% for food affordability across England and at the WSFC we have seen a year-on-year increase of 20% in the number of emergency food parcels we distribute. Your regular (or one-off) donation could help us buy essential supplies, which our volunteers carefully put together each week to support people in different situations:

  • £10 can provide a small food parcel for an individual who has no cooking facilities (just access to hot water).
  • £15 can provide a small food parcel for an individual or couple who have some basic cooking facilities.
  • £30 can provide a standard food parcel for a family who have cooking facilities.

You can read more about regular giving here: Donating to WSFC. If you have any questions, or would like a Standing Order Form emailed or posted to you, please contact the West Somerset Food Cupboard on [email protected]

Thank you all for all your continued support!

With best wishes from the West Somerset Food Cupboard team

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