Sidmouth food bank thanks all supporters after demand rises to record level during Covid-19 pandemic

Georgia King collecting wholesale purchases from Lidl, including essential cleaning products. Pictur

Georgia King collecting wholesale purchases from Lidl, including essential cleaning products. Picture: Simon Blyth - Credit: Archant

Around 200 people are now being helped by the Sid Valley Food Bank, thanks to its army of volunteers, local businesses and the Sidmouth community.

Mexican food donated by Lidl. Picture: Ian Barlow

Mexican food donated by Lidl. Picture: Ian Barlow - Credit: Archant

Demand for its services has rocketed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and the number of clients has doubled.

Co-ordinator Andie Milne, running the food bank from her home as she remains in self-isolation, has thanked everyone who has helped keep the food supplies coming in.

This includes the many people who have given cash donations, enabling the food bank to buy from local shops and supermarkets.

Ms Milne said she was grateful to the businesses that have allowed the food bank to buy wholesale; these include The Dairy Shop, Hayman’s Butchers and Lidl. Haymans and The Dairy Shop bought extra items to make sure there was enough for the food bank.

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Vinnicombes bakery, which has donated bread for eight years, has continued doing so, and has recently added sausage rolls and pizzas to its contributions.

Winchesters has taken over from the Market Place to provide fresh vegetables and other produce.

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Waitrose gave a special donation of essential food items at the end of March, at a time when demand had soared during lockdown and the food bank had only one week’s supplies left.

This month Lidl donated a large number of Mexican food items which will supplement the essential supplies.

Ms Milne said Sidmouth Town Council, particularly its leader Ian Barlow, had been the ‘driving force’ behind getting the two larger supermarkets on board.

She has also thanked Georgia King from Kings Garden Centre, who has used the company’s lorry to collect supplies and the Lidl donation from the supermarket’s warehouse near Exeter Airport, and deliver them to the food bank’s premises.

As well as providing weekly food supplies, the food bank is now including household cleaning items and essential toiletries such as shampoo and handwash.

It is providing top-up food parcels for families with school-age children, as well as the full weekly service for those in the most need.

For more information call 07936 917507, Monday to Friday, business hours only, or visit

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