Posted: 10.06.19 at 15:58 by Joseph Bulmer
Fresh vegetables will now be given to food bank users in Sid Valley thanks to a new partnership with traders in Sidmouth Market.
It is a busy time for volunteers at Sid Valley Food Bank, fresh vegetables are now on the menu, a date has been finalised for the food bank’s AGM, a new Facebook page is being launched and the food bank has updated its contact details.
Sidmouth Nub News editor Joe Bulmer sat down with Sid Valley Food Bank’s coordinator, Andie Milne, today (June 10) to find out the latest.
Offering fresh vegetables to food bank users is really important to Andie, she said: “Why should you, if you use a food bank, have to settle for second best? You are not a second class citizen.
“We recently funded a cinema trip for the children of food bank users. We did so because these families can’t afford to go to the cinema but these kids still need to feel human.
“We all want and need fresh vegetables, veg is not only really good for you it is also incredibly versatile. Children can have healthy dinners and a little bit of fresh veg enhances the tinned food we give to our users.”
Last week the food bank supported 14 families and seven individuals, including 31 children.
“This week we are also supporting two working families. The majority have lost PIP payments or are waiting for Universal Credit payments to come up,” said Andie.
“We support people from all walks of life. The sad fact is a lot of people are too proud to seek help.”
Andie is currently setting up a new Facebook page for the food bank, one which is dedicated to providing food bank information and contact details for those who may need to use the service.
Sidmouth Age Concern has offered the food bank storage space and use of an office twice a week.
This new arrangement is important as currently the food bank is struggling for space.
“The food bank is considering looking for new premises if new storage facilities cannot be negotiated with our landlord, this is due to high demand on our services,” said Andie.
Sid Valley Food Bank also has a new email address, [email protected], the old email address does still work but the food bank will be using the new Gmail address to reply to queries.
Andie is also keen to point out that, thanks to a new larger fridge, the food bank is able to take donations of fresh food whenever their base, the Unitarian Chapel on All Saints Road, is open.
Much of the work done by the food bank goes unnoticed by the general public, in the school summer holidays the food bank will help support families with children who are entitled to free school meals.
There are also plans underway to use the food bank as a community hub, expanding the work done by the group and incorporating a clothes bank.
Sid Valley Food Bank has partnerships with Healthy Homes and LEAP, groups which help people who are in fuel poverty by assessing homes, making sure families are on the right energy tariff and providing energy saving equipment, such as light bulbs.
The food bank is also looking for volunteer delivery drivers to help provide food to users in outlying area, people who cannot afford to travel and the infirm.
The Food Bank was set up by local churches to help in times of crisis by distributing much needed provisions. Local Supermarkets Waitrose, Co-op, and Sidford Spar support this initiative by providing collection points for food donations.
If you want to help the food bank here is a list of items which are always needed:
-Savoury Noodles and Rice
-Cereals (small boxes)
-Various Fruit Juices
-Puddings and Biscuits
-Dog and Cat Food
Sid Valley Food Bank will be holding its AGM on Tuesday, June 25, a venue is currently being finalised. The event is open to anyone interested in the work being done by the food bank.
If you want to contact the food bank ring the new mobile number, 07936 917507, or click on the red button below to visit the food bank’s website.