West Somerset Food Cupboard Newsletter, December 2023

Dear friends and supporters of the West Somerset Food Cupboard,

We’ve been so touched by the generosity of so many supporters as we prepare for the extra-busy Christmas period.

Thank you to all those who have given one-off financial donations, including supermarket gifts cards and winter fuel payments, and those who have signed up to regular giving via our donations page. Your generosity is helping us to not just meet the current need but also to plan for continuation of the services that we provide for as long as there is a need.

Thank you to the Foxes Hotel team who raised an incredible £620 by putting on two tasty Tapas evenings in aid of the Food Cupboard. Dream Team pictured, right. And thank you to the Wootton Courtenay Village Hall Film Club for your generous donation of £170. We are very grateful.

Many thanks too to all those churches, retirement homes, shops and community groups including the Rotary and Lions Clubs and many more, who have been bringing in Christmas food collections for us to distribute.

In the first week of December, we will be packing the Christmas parcels. The ‘creative department’ amongst our volunteer team have already been busy hand crafting beautiful tags for each parcel – a little personal touch to bring a smile along with some treats for the festive season.

The Christmas food parcels will be distributed early in the month so that they can have maximum impact on a household budget in the lead up to Christmas. But the need for basic food supplies won’t go away, so we will continue to pack food parcels and make them available throughout the Christmas and New Year period. As always, we need your help with this please. Any non-perishable tins, packets, bottles and jars of non-perishable food are very much appreciated.

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

  • UHT milk
  • Small bottles squash
  • Small jars coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tinned cold meat
  • Tinned veg/potatoes

In November 2023, we distributed 98 food parcels; a total of 1315 so far this year, compared with 1109 this time last year.

The Tuesday Pantry continues to run at capacity. Every month it successfully diverts around one tonne of good food from waste to local dinner tables, as well as sharing lovely locally grown produce such as the huge variety of apples from Porlock Orchards for which we are very grateful. The teams at Minehead Lidl and Alcombe Co-op are a huge support for this service too. Feedback suggests that participation in the Pantry not only relieves household finances a little (up to a £500 saving over a 6-month membership), but facilitates healthier eating, and new community connections at the same time. It’s a win win!

We were happy to humbly celebrate the magic that happens when community-minded people get together to do a thing for their community, when the West Somerset Food Cupboard team were awarded the King’s Award for Voluntary Service this month. This is a community effort and we thank you for the support you give to the charity. Special thanks to Jan for the surprise nomination!

Finally we want to thank Tracey for all she has done since she joined us back in April. Although she’s moving on to exciting new projects in the New Year, she’s been a huge help here and we will miss her.

Merry Christmas from the West Somerset Food Cupboard team

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