2013 reports from Exmouth Community Larder
2013 Start up Report : January 2013
CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) 21%
Open Door Centre 21%
EDDC Housing benefits 8%
NHS Rehabilitation 7%
EDDC Disability support 6%
Churches / church groups 3%
Special Housing Associations 5%
NHS - G.P. / health visitors 3%
Social services 3%
Stop Abuse for Everyone 3%
Glenorchy Work club 2%
Christians against Poverty 1%
The wide range of agencies also gives us confidence that we are pretty well known around the community, though surprised that churches and schools have not identified more people in need.
March was our busiest month so far with 50 parcels given out enabling approximately 950 meals to 81 people. Food donations continue to arrive; The Rotary Club, Curves, Jehovah's Witnesses and St Swithin's CofE Church Woodbury are now added to our list of benefactors. A sponsored run along Hadrian's Wall has been promised - more on that later.
The volunteer team would like to thank everyone, and note with pleasure that the Community Larder is truly becoming a Community venture. We feel well placed to meet the growing demand which will be our challenge before long.
The weekly arrival of non-perishable food from so many churches continues to be the lifeline that keeps the Exmouth Community Larder able to help people in need.
Currently we are short of squash, long life milk, sugar, shampoo and toilet rolls, very over- stocked on soups, beans and teabags but doing all right on other items. Overstocking is simply the result of your wonderful response to previous bulletins!!
Thanks for all the support which has plugged the gaps in our shelves. Our greatest shortages are now €.. Tinned potatoes / Smash, Sauces (such as : Pasta / Curry / Sweet and Sour / carbonara), Shampoo, Shower gel and deoderant, and treats.
We are still more than well stocked with beans, soups and vegetables except potatoes.
Demand seems to have settled to 70 / 80 people served each month but we have not yet seen any significant number affected by the changes in the Benefit system.
The graph of usage is above; note only a few days in May are included.
We will be represented in the CTE tent at the Exmouth Festival on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th May and welcome all and anyone who would like to make direct contact and learn more about how the Larder is serving the Community - providing joined-up Christianity, but also with volunteeers and supporters not from any church.
The Exmouth Journal published an article "Getting people back on their feet" (page 6, 9th May edition) about the Larder. It stressed the most important point that people needing help should not be embarrassed to seek it. Our experience is that those people most genuinely needing and deserving help are the most diffident asking for it! Their only embarrassment should be if they fail to give back a few years later, when we hope they are back on their feet!!!!
Anyone who wants to see the Exmouth Community Larder in action is welcome to visit while we are open - Mondays after 3pm is best; it is busiest just after opening. As you wil find, the Exmouth Community Larder is a whole team of people working together.
We ran out of long life milk, small jars of coffee, tinned tomatoes and tinned spaghetti.
Cash donations were used to replenish these, but we do URGENTLY need long life milk, small jars of coffee, tinned tomatoes, tinned spaghetti and also jars or packets of sauces to go with pasta or rice.
We continue to have a glut of soups and beans and plenty of meat meals and fish.
June is a record month; the graph speaks for itself with Friday 28th still to come....
More news on the website, including plans for a distribution point in Budleigh Salterton for food collected there, when volunteers and a venue are agreed.
THANK YOU for your continued support, which we hope to be expressed in the form of long life milk, small jars of coffee, tinned tomatoes and tinned spaghetti, which is where this report started! The Bible does make a virtue of persistence....!!
July was the most demanding month so far. A wonderful team of volunteers and the systems that have evolved were all equal to the busiest days, but we seriously need to increase donations of food to keep abreast of demand.
Demand has now rocketed to nearly twice the level we had in March, April and May. Referrals are all from reliable agencies; there are real problems among our less affluent neighbours. This was always to be expected but has taken a while to reach us.
We are therefore desperate to increase the donations of food, or indeed cash with which we can buy basic provisions at wholesale or heavily discounted prices.
Long life milk, pasta and pasta sauces, jams and tinned rice pudding are the most urgent items. As in the June report, we are using cash reserves to prop up these items for the moment; cash donations always welcome (which can be Gift Aided, see below)
As Harvest Festivals come closer, we are hopeful that these will provide an opportunity to restock our reserves, but meanwhile we are working from one week to the next.
The image above shows very graphically how July is the highest yet.
Given the size of Exmouth our figures are not out of line; the challenge now before us is to show that our generosity can match the demand.
So please, please, encourage donations of food or cash. Make cheques payable to The Salvation Army, Exmouth Corps endorsed Exmouth Larder on the back.
Anyone wanting to see how we work is welcome to visit when we are open, more information is available on the website, www.exmouthlarder.co.uk, including a Gift Aid form to download.
God bless you all.
First, a big THANK YOU for the generous surge in donations which has matched the surge in demand! August demand has been very comparable to the July record.
A Budleigh Salterton distribution point is opening on Thursday 19th September in the Catholic Church hall in Clinton Close from 9.30am till 11.30am, and weekly thereafter.
We continue to look forward to Harvest Festivals in the hope that these will restock our reserves. Long life milk, pasta sauces, jams and tinned rice pudding are still needed; BUT we are bursting with pasta due to your excellent response to earlier appeals!!
Our cash reserves have been boosted by a £500 donation following Jim Hunter's sponsored run in the 69 mile "ultra-marathon" in support of Open Door and The Larder. More people are finding it convenient to give cash enabling us to purchase basics through wholesalers; cash gifts can be Gift Aided, see www.exmouthlarder.co.uk .
There has been a shift in the agencies referring clients, illustrated below. The Open Door Centre emerges as the most important support agency helping clients resolve the underlying crisis which causes their food emergency. "Other" is mainly NHS and other agencies identifying people who need help due to medical and rehabilitation problems. The increase in referrals from EDDC Revenue and Benefits dept indicates a growing need following the "benefit changes"; people with medical and rehabilitiation problems seem badly caught out by the changes.
Blessings to all, pray for our clients and "teach us, Lord, to serve you as you deserve...."
Demand continues to rise, September exceeded the August record by about 10%. We are now really are short of most things but keeping abreast using your generous cash donations we had saved up. Publishing particular shortages has resulted in alternate feast and famine, so we'll just take everything that you generously provide!!
A Budleigh Salterton distribution centre is now open from 9.30am - 11.30am every Thursday morning in the Catholic Church Hall on Clinton Terrace. So instead of the usual boring graph, a map of Budleigh showing where it is!! Food will come from our Exmouth stocks; Budleigh Salterton Churches are delivering collections to us.
This will make it easier for clients in Budleigh - if they have no food nor money to buy food they won't have the bus fare either! No doubt it will highlight that support services such as CAB and Open Door do not exist in Budleigh, which is an opportunity for the Budleigh Salterton Church Community in due course.
Some foodbanks set a limit of three visits per client; we do NOT set any limit. Out of 202 families served since we started, 42 have been more than 3 times. Some are clearly having a long struggle - we see them a couple of times and then again after a month or more. Others do need continuous help for an extended period. In these cases we check with the referring agency that the food emergency is valid and also that the underlying crisis is being attended to. These cases convince us that a limit of three visits would deprive people of much needed help in the present world.
Receiving so much help from churches and the broader community we see our role to give people the help and support they both need and deserve as our fellow citizens. However, we do turn people down from time to time (!) because what people want is not always the support they need! Anyone is welcome to visit and see how we work during opening hours .... mid session about 3.15pm would be best to avoid any early rush.
God bless you for all your help !!
A B I G T H A N K - Y O U to all the Harvest Festival supplies which have poured in, keeping us all busy checking dates, sorting and stacking. Demand remains at the high levels of June and July but has steadied from the August and September records.
On 26th November there will be a service at 6pm in the Salvation Army Hall to celebrate the first anniversary the Exmouth Community Larder, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet our volunteers, our many donors and see how we work.
The big news in October is that we have cash to provide top-up payments for gas and electricity for people in fuel crisis, funded by East Devon District Council. This will be especially important with winter coming on, some saying it will be a cold one.
We can give an amount to allow a client to top up their gas and/or electricity key in line with local authority instructions. For each fuel we will allow a top up of between £5 & £10 and for a maximum of two awards to a household in each twelve month period. Clients will be required to return receipts to the Community Larder once they have topped up their fuel key. As usual we will only respond to referrals from partner agencies.
The Budleigh Salterton distribution centre is now running smoothly, open Thursdays from 9.30 to 11.30am in the Catholic church hall on Clinton Terrace. There are not many clients using it yet, but we had the same pattern in Exmouth at the start.
If you would like to join us come along when we are open. We are truly voluntary with 13 churches represented among our volunteers plus several from no church or faith at all, and no outgoings except food for clients donated by our generous donors.
I am reminded of a spurious Grace before meals, written as a joke but surely black humour in today's world. It makes us think .......
Lord bless us all and save us, and keep us all alive
There's ten of us for dinner and not enough for five.
There are too many in the world to whom that applies, some locally !!
At 6pm on Tuesday 26th November we hold a Thanksgiving service followed by our first birthday party. In our first year we have given out more than 690 packages of food, supplying about 15,000 meals to clients referred by 30 different agencies, using food and funds food donated by churches and groups throughout Exmouth and surrounds.
Christians Together in Exmouth initiated it with food from the 2012 Harvest Festivals and storage space in the Salvation Army hall. We needed an organisational base, so soon put ourselves under the Salvation Army banner. We help anybody in a food emergency who has no food nor money to buy food and a referral voucher from a local support agency. We do not limit the number of occasions we give provisions to people, but do expect the client to work with the referring agency to overcome their underlying crisis.
The most amazing and gratifying thing about the Exmouth Community Larder is the way in which so very many people from lots of churches, or no church at all, have donated food and funds, with volunteers working harmoniously in support of disadvantaged people among us; how many of our clients have offered help when they will be in a position to do so; the help and encouragement we have had from our friends in referring agencies. ........... Our first birthday party will be a real celebration!
After breaking records in August and September, demand has settled, but we don't know what the future holds. The Open Door Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and EDDC revenue and benefits department have been the most frequent referring agencies, plus NHS and child support agencies, schools, churches, the Glenorchy Work Club and many small specialised groups supporting people in need.
Recent extensions have been the Budleigh Salterton distribution point and funding which enables us to provide basic gas and electric fuel top-ups to those in serious need.
Supporters and volunteers are welcome to our Thanksgiving Service and birthday party. We wish you all a happy Christmas and look forward to continued service to the community in 2014 and beyond.
Christmas is upon us; the celebration of God coming among us as Jesus Christ
It was a group of rough sleepers, outcasts living in the hills with their sheep, who were chosen for the angel Gabriel to make the greatest announcement ever trumpeted!
As we enjoy Christmas, most of us in our comfortable surroundings, it is well to remember the priorities God showed at The Nativity ...... raggedy shepherds and wealthy wise men, all together with the baby Jesus among the animals at the back of the Inn.
At the end of our first year, the most amazing and gratifying thing about the Exmouth Community Larder is the way in which so very many people from lots of churches, or no church at all, are working together as a harmonious team supporting disadvantaged people among us; how many of our clients have offered help when they will be in a position to do so; the help and encouragement from our friends in referring agencies.
Some of you may have been at the Thanksgiving Service and 1st birthday party we held on Tuesday 26th November. A report and pictures will be on the website. When we started the Larder we thought we knew what we were doing, but only one person really knew. Praise the Lord, there was a detailed plan, which unfolded as we discovered it .... !
During our first year we have given out food corresponding to more than 15,000 meals. We nearly ran out in late summer, but Harvest Festivals replenished reserves. When we start to worry, more food and volunteers just arrive. Thank the Lord and the community for keeping us going and giving such brilliant encouragment.
Demand has settled to an average of 90 packages for 160 people each month, half the demand reported by the Exeter foodbank in their big city. Donors have included all the churches and many businesses, 32 groups in total plus many private donations.
Clients have been referred from 30 different agencies over the last year. The Open Door Centre comes top with 32%; CAB with 18%; EDDC (Revenue & benefits, housing), 14%; followed by smaller agencies concerned with rehabilitation in the community, children's agencies, debt counselling (CAP), the Glenorchy Work Club, churches and schools.
So, a happy and holy Christmas to all our supporters, donors, volunteers and agencies, not forgetting for one moment our clients - some of whom will be our donors in the future. Christmas is a Wednesday, so we will be open as usual Mondays and Fridays throughout the holiday, but the Budleigh Salterton centre will not open on Boxing Day.
The run up to Christmas was amazing. New records set for clients needing help were only exceeded by the enormous generosity of food and cash donations arriving. The Exmouth Journal ran articles in four issues before Christmas; donations are now coming from a wide range of people in the whole community. While started by the Churches, the Larder is now surely a community response - in the manner of previous ages when each neighbourhood would look after its own.
The increase in the proportion of larger families coming for help in December was matched by a generosity of Christmas treats from our donors. Our two openings after Christmas have been unusually quiet, so we cannot forecast a trend for 2014.
Our wonderful team of volunteers have enabled us to keep abreast of the pressures. Everything really does work smoothly thanks to the ideas and energy of many people who have enabled our systems to evolve during our first year, but at times we are stretched. This warns us that we may not yet be organised enough. In 2014 we hope to increase our pool of volunteers, which will help.
Agencies referring clients have quite different skills supporting people in trouble. Problems range from housing needs, Learning Disabilities, rehabilitation both medical and social, or simply people unable to make ends meet through inadequate income or the costs of overwhelming debt. Being referred to the Community Larder for help in their food emergency is the one thing our clients have in common. In 2014 we aim to get a better understanding of how the many agencies work, and so improve our ability to signpost clients to the agencies best able to help them overcome the underlying financial crisis which causes the food emergency.
The Budleigh Salterton distribution point is working fluently, but B.S. lacks a centre providing basic support as we have in Exmouth through the CAB and Open Door Centre. Does anyone know any qualified volunteers for a couple of hours a week???
Blessings for 2014 from all the Larder team
Click here to go back to the home page!
Click here for the information leaflet.