Increasing demand depletes supplies of Sid Valley Food Bank

PUBLISHED: 16:30 18 April 2019

Andie Milnes at Sidmouth's food bank. Ref shs 16 19CP 2301. Picture: Clarissa Place

Andie Milnes at Sidmouth's food bank. Ref shs 16 19CP 2301. Picture: Clarissa Place

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Andie Milne, co-ordinator of Sid Valley Food Bank, says it is preparing 27 food parcels a week for those in need, meaning supplies are needing to be replaced more frequently.

Andie Milnes at Sidmouth's food bank. Ref shs 16 19CP 2297. Picture: Clarissa PlaceAndie Milnes at Sidmouth's food bank. Ref shs 16 19CP 2297. Picture: Clarissa Place

The charity is currently supporting seven families a week.

The food bank issues the same items in every parcel and with increasing demand is looking for more donations of potatoes, biscuits, puddings, coffee, savoury rice, noodles, children's cereal, juice and wet and dry pet food.

Ms Milne said: “That's what we run out of every week. We are supporting more children than adults, the families are struggling.

“One of the main things is our numbers have gone up. The need for donations has gone up and our supplies have gone up. We need more donations. We had to fund a week's supply recently costing around £300. We have to try and give the same to everyone.”

With Easter and summer holidays around the corner, the charity has received donation of Easter eggs to give youngsters a special treat to make sure they do not miss out.

During the last half term, the food bank organised for 25 children to see How To Train Your Dragon 3.

Ms Milne added: “Children shouldn't be second class citizens.”

Families and individuals need to have a referrer recommend them to access the food bank and are given a voucher. Referrals come through East Devon District Council, GPs, health workers, social workers and local churches and schools

Andie said: “If people have concerns they can ring me and I go back to the referrer.”

The charity is branching out to work with different agencies including fuel poverty and water charities to help people learn to support themselves.

Ms Milne said: “We only supply food for up to three days. We're working with people to support themselves. The fuel charity will be making sure they are on the right tariff, making sure their money is being used wisely.”

The food bank also supplies baby items, toilettes and when enough is available fresh vegetables if delivered to the bank on a Friday morning.

Ms Milne thanked Vinncombes which regularly donated bread, reducing the amount spent by the charity.

A volunteer, who wished not to be named, bakes fresh treats and brings them to the food bank to be distributed amongst the parcels.

Collection points are available at all Sid Valley churches as well as Waitrose, Co-op, Fulfords Estate Agents and Spar in Sidford.

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