Guide East Devon residents Coronavirus update - 05 June 2020

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9. Exmouth Community Larder tell us their story

We’ve been featuring one of the amazing general community efforts in our weekly newsletters. This week we thought we’d do something a bit different and feature one of East Devon’s fabulous foodbanks and tell their story.

“The Exmouth Community Larder was started in 2012 to provide food to anyone in Exmouth in a food emergency - no food in the house, no money to buy food - as referred by a suitable support agency. We now include Lympstone, Exton, Woodbury, both Budleighs and Otterton based on donations we receive from churches, schools and others in Exmouth and the whole area.

In the Coronavirus crisis we now deliver to anyone needing food, whether referred by an agency or simply contacting us direct - email to help@exmouthlarder.co.uk or phone 07749 322291. We think that people who would not normally come to a foodbank will become generous donors!! With distancing restrictions we mostly deliver, though people with no address can collect on Monday and Friday afternoons at the usual times.

From April demand has tripled; we now provide food for over 120 people every week - and the number is rising!

The generosity of the community has matched the demand. We started the year with ample reserves, but so far donations have kept ahead of need so that we have not dipped into reserves. Our delivery drivers also pick up from donors and collection points; this minimises people bringing donations and avoids groups congregating.

Most of our traditional staff had to isolate due to age or the medical problems of close relatives, but we have been overwhelmed by 90 offers to volunteer, many of whom are now keeping the project going.

We operate from the Salvation Army hall in Exmouth. The arrangements have changed dramatically so that 4 or 5 people can work on sorting and packing while maintaining the correct distancing; delivery drivers are loaded and sent on their way with the minimum of interaction.

The future is uncertain; victory by the medics over the virus will be followed by a different world in which jobs will have disappeared. People who had good jobs will no longer be needed. The food emergency for many people will continue.

Thanks to people's generosity, the Exmouth Community Larder seems well positioned to continue providing food support in the greater Exmouth area for the foreseeable future.

More at.... www.exmouthlarder.co.uk