Foodbank a year on...

Email your letters to andrew.keeble@archant.co.uk or write to us at Opinion, North Devon Gazette, Un

Email your letters to andrew.keeble@archant.co.uk or write to us at Opinion, North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB. Please keep letters to maximum of 300 words and also include your name, address and contact telephone number. - Credit: Getty Images/Hemera

People are often surprised to hear there are people in crisis in Northern Devon – but all places have social housing and less affluent areas, especially in rural districts where low pay or seasonal jobs are at odds with high housing prices.

The Northern Devon Foodbank began when a church minister asking what facilities were available to feed a local family in crisis was told ‘none’, prompting Bideford & District Churches to link up with a national network run by the Trussell Trust.

The Bideford Branch opened on July 18 and has expanded with branches in Barnstaple and South Molton, and a central warehouse facility, provided by Evans Transport. All staff are volunteers.

Northern Devon Foodbank provides essential emergency food to people who, for various reasons, would go hungry.

Food is distributed using a voucher system issued by front-line care professionals and exchanged at the foodbank to provide a basic, balanced food diet to last approximately three days; the non-perishable food is generally cheap to prepare and requires minimal refrigeration or cooking expense.


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A system of Emergency Food Boxes is being established to help those in rural areas.

It is not sustainable for people to become reliant on a foodbank, hence a limit on vouchers, and working closely with referral agents and signposting clients to help resolve the cause of crisis.

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Food and cash comes from many sources and the generosity of people in Northern Devon has enabled us to distribute the equivalent of over 13,000 meals to local people.

The need for the Northern Devon Foodbank continues because, since April this year, we have fed almost 400 people.

We are extremely grateful for the support we get whether that is in donations, time or goodwill.

If you can help, our email is info@northerndevon.foodbank.org.uk.

Ginette Berry

Northern Devon (formerly Bideford) Foodbank

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