Larder report : November 2020 - in lockdown again!
Demand is going up - November so far is 20% up on the peak months of April and May. December in the past has been 30% up on November. News tells of West Country infections well below the national average, which draws attention away from it being 10 times what it was 6 weeks ago. It is realistic to plan for a huge further increase in need for the foodbank !!
Christmas Day this year is a Friday, so for the first time in years we will close for that one day, but open again on Monday 28th December even though it is a bank holiday. People's needs don't stop for holidays - and at the major Christian Festivals we should especially look after others - as do people of all Faiths!!
The real difficulty for many families is the loss of income from problems in the economy, delays in Universal Credit benefits coming through, reduced income when it does and uncertainty for the future.
On the positive side, donations of supplies and cash continue to come from the whole locality. A major donation has been the time, freely given, by so many people within and outside The Larder - no-one gets any remuneration from The Larder, and we have continued without a break throughout the crisis - in fact without a break since we started in late 2012!!
Support for people in need has come from EDDC departments, from Citizens Advice, from Health visitors, GP's and the Mental Health team and many others, often working with re-arranged patterns using phone and internet. In acknowledging and appreciating the great support of volunteers, it is important to remember so many people doing regular jobs which are vital to those they serve. The EDDC housing team has worked wonders in getting a roof for otherwise homeless people.
Needs and difficulties are as diverse as people themselves!! In addition to food supplies, we all need to provide caring and compassionate support for people claiming Benefits, trying to stay connected to friends and family and staying positive. For food we arrange deliveries; for other help there is the phone!
The Larder is reaching out to learn what extra support should be provided. There are many who are not comfortable using the internet, or maybe do not have a reliable phone connection - many of whom were managing quite well until the virus upended their world!! We will try to connect them with helpful support; that is something that ALL of us can do with for all the people within our reach!!
As ever, a big THANK YOU to all who support The Larder helping our neighbours.
Exmouth Community Larder, 15th November 2020