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2021 reports from Exmouth Community Larder

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Larder report : New Year - new lockdown!

"Good King Wenceslas" seems to have gone out of favour! The carol describes how he "looked out on the feast of Stephen", the day after Christmas, to find and help the poor - King Wenceslas should be patron saint of Foodbanks!! The need continues and will no doubt increase. Much help is needed, so THANKS to the whole community for your continued support!!

The Exmouth Community Larder worked without a break throughout 2020. 2,315 packages were given out, to feed 4,837 people, approximately 58,044 meals!! King Wencelas' Page in verse two would have been proud! All supplies were derived from the generous donations from the whole of the wider community.

Citizens Advice has adapted since the first lockdown, and it is now in a good position to provide help and support. We are all suffering in different ways; being short of food is fundamental, but additionally many are trying to work out their finances in new circumstances; applying for grants and aid is as confusing as deciding how far to drive for a walk .... or walk briskly to where the gym was??

Hungry children don't learn well, so school meals are in the news; the Community Larder is aiming to provide sufficient help locally - certainly the ratio of families to individuals has greatly increased. Hopefully everyone who needs support is being referred to The Larder or will contact us direct at "help@exmouthlarder.co.uk" or by phone to 07749 322291.

"Children learning at home need devices" says Emma Jones, head teacher at Withycombe Primary School ...... "The DFE provided us with 5 ipads for vulnerable children - we are a school of 630 children so these 5 ipads don't go very far. We also have families with 1 device, but 3 or 4 children are all trying to access online."

Nicky Taylor-Bashford, head at St Joseph's Primary, adds: "Teachers and parents are all doing an amazing job, under very difficult circumstances. The news often refers to schools being closed - we are definitely not closed! Teachers continue to put the school children first before their own families and their own anxieties. They continue to teach all day in class whilst also trying to teach and engage children remotely. Parents are trying to support their own children's learning, often whilst juggling working from home and caring for other family members."

With more people needing help with issues beyond just food, at The Larder we are returning to the principle of expecting a referral from such as CA, especially for repeated requests. This is not to limit referrals, but to verify that people are getting help with all their problems. Citizens Advice can be reached on 01395 265070 or 01404 42227 and will call back if busy. CA is also starting a scheme to raise funds and supply devices to those who need them for schooling.

Food remains our main project, but there is a lot of need all around us, and those who find themsleves in a "food emergency" usually have many other troubles too!!


Larder/Foodbank report : February news update

The Exmouth Community Larder decided to change its name to Exmouth Foodbank some time ago, but in March 2020 the Coronavirus hit. It is being implemented now with a much improved website and new email addresses, although some problems have to be sorted!. Looking into the future causes us to look back into the past to grasp the overall picture!

The first lockdown in March 2020 created a surge in people volunteering and a surge in demand from people who could not get supplies, all matched by a surge in donations. Meanwhile volunteers over 70 had to step back leaving new recruits to man the fort led by a few younger previous volunteers. With so many new initiatives at that time to help people, it is easy to think wrongly of the Community Larder being driven by the crisis.

Food emergencies are not new - there have been hungry people needing help from time immemorial. Those who go back to WWII and rationing remember help being provided within each community. People who had enough shared with those that did not. The Gospels remind us "the poor are always with us" The need will continue into the future, especially as more people are relying on government support; many will fall through cracks in the system; mental health issues will expand, where support was already struggling!!

In 2009 in Exmouth, Rev'd John Graver, Minister of Christ Church, filled a spare room in the manse with food for needy families, while Tim Davies had started gathering tins in his garage in Brixington and distributing them to those in need. Volunteers Nov 2013


Tim became part of the founding group in the Larder managing the stockroom, Chris Barker-Bey organised dealings with clients, Major Steve Watson of the Salvation Army did something of everything.

Rev'd Ian Pusey, a retired minister at Holy Trinity, had run a food bank since 1990 in his previous parish, serving 45-50 people a week, referred by social services. The Trussel Trust set up its first food bank in 2000 in Salisbury. This went on to create a national food bank movement, with an organised structure and paid staff, which made big news, but it was not the start of food banks or of the need, but it did create publicity and an impetus!!

The ethos of providing help in a food emergency continues, as does the need to guide people to seek help with their underlying crisis. Thanks to the generosity of the whole of greater Exmouth Community there are currently plenty of volunteers and donations.

The new committee, about to launch a new website and with the experience of the huge demands of 2020, look forward to the challenges of 2021 and beyond .... more later!!


March

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April

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November

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December

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