09:15 18 March 2022
As we come to the end of a difficult and trying winter, the Exmouth Food Bank team would like to thank the residents and community of Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, East Budleigh, Otterton, Lympstone, Exton, Woodbury, Woodbury Salterton and all the people around. areas for your continued support and donations. Your commitment to support us throughout the two years of the pandemic has been truly humbling and inspiring, enabling us to maintain our support for local populations in food crisis.
Every week at Exmouth Food Bank we provide free emergency food to our customers and advise them on how they can access appropriate professional support and advice. We actively liaise with other local agencies such as Citizens Advice, Open Door and East Devon District Council, as well as GPs and NHS professionals, to help individuals access practical help they need to resolve the underlying issues causing financial hardship. .
In the first year of the pandemic, demand for help from the Exmouth Food Bank increased by more than 4% compared to previous years. This demand continued throughout 2021 when we provided 2,177 food parcels to feed 4,405 people. Demand has increased further in the first two months of 2022. In January and February, we have already distributed 462 parcels to feed 933 people.
The growing demand is sobering, caused in part by Covid-19, but increasingly by the rising cost of food, fuel and utility bills. Many of our clients work for minimum wage and cannot make ends meet every week. Others have family responsibilities, housing issues, or physical and mental health issues that have impacted their lives. At Exmouth Food Bank, we help every person or family in a fair and non-judgemental way, treating them as we would like to be treated ourselves.
For me, the most encouraging aspect of the pandemic response has been to see our community come together in different ways to support those in need in our area. At Exmouth Food Bank, we collaborate with various organizations such as Open Door by providing them, for example, with supplies for the Baby Bank that they manage. We helped Littleham Community Fridge buy a used fridge and freezer. We also work with Sea Change, located in Budleigh Salterton, providing them with weekly food for the cooking class program they run for Afghan refugees.
There will be further opportunities for cooperation between the agencies in the weeks and months to come. The number of people in need of assistance is expected to continue to rise throughout 2022. Expected changes to the energy cap in April 2022, combined with rising housing costs and food prices, will further tighten household budgets.
Global political and economic uncertainty can only worsen due to the horrors of the war in Ukraine. We do not yet know what impact this tragedy will have on our lives across Europe in the months and years to come. What seems certain, however, is that the core community support initiatives that have grown during the pandemic will need to continue beyond.
At Exmouth Food Bank, we will strive to continue supporting vulnerable individuals and families, no matter what the future holds. Thank you for helping us to continue like this. You can visit our website at www.exmouthfoodbank.org.uk or our Facebook page for up-to-date information on the items we need most.
Thank you all for your outstanding and continued support.