Coronavirus: Sidmouth food bank co-ordinator ordered to self-isolate – but all food supplies will continue

Andie Milne, coordinator of the Sid Valley Foodbank. Picture: Philippa Davies

Andie Milne, coordinator of the Sid Valley Foodbank. Picture: Philippa Davies - Credit: Archant

The co-ordinator of Sid Valley food bank, Andie Milne, has been ordered to self-isolate for 12 weeks as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Milne has underlying health issues and has been told by the NHS Coronavirus Service that she is at high risk of serious illness if she does catch the virus.

She will be obeying the order and staying at home until the end of the 12-week period, unless the restriction is lifted earlier by the NHS.

But she is reassuring all food bank users that they will still get their supplies, and all new referrals will still be processed.

Session leaders will look after the food bank’s operations, and Ms Milne will be able to look after the admin side from her home.


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The session leaders will be able to accept food donations but not cash, so anyone wanting to give money will need to contact Ms Milne by phone or email.

She said she was feeling ‘fine’, has no signs of the virus, and will miss going out and meeting people.

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“If people come past my house they can wave at me through my window,” she said.

Ironically, her inclusion on the ‘high risk’ list means she will be entitled to Government food parcels – which she says she will donate straight back to the food bank.

Ms Milne said she had been anticipating a possible self-isolation order, and had been working hard for weeks to make sure her band of volunteers can run the food bank without her, for months if necessary.

“I will still do as much as I can from home, but the systems are in place,” she said.

“I want to reassure people that they will still get their food.

“But the session leaders can’t deal with client queries, or referrals, or cash donations, so I will look after those.”

Volunteers will be working at the food bank’s premises at the Unitarian Chapel for four sessions a week, as well as collecting food donations left at local supermarkets, and delivering supplies on Tuesdays and Fridays.

From this week, the food bank is giving weekly support to 60 school age children, in addition to the 43 families who receive food supplies, including fresh produce, every Friday.

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