Sid Vale food bank appeals for donations as coronavirus pushes up demand

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 March 2020

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

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

Philippa Davies

Sidmouth’s food bank is preparing for a rise in demand as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The Sid Valley food bank is now delivering its emergency supplies to people’s homes instead of giving them out from its premises, to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

It is currently supporting more than 120 people, and co-ordinator Andie Milne said there are enough supplies for the next few days, but not for any longer.

She is appealing for tinned meat, fish and vegetables, fruit juice, rice and noodles.

The list of priority items is regularly updated on the food bank’s website and Facebook page.

The food bank has extended its operating hours and is now accepting donations on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 11am, and from 11am to noon on Fridays.

It is still located at the Unitarian Chapel in All Saints Road, after its planned move to Sidmouth Youth Centre was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

Donations can also be dropped off at Waitrose, the Co-op, and the Sidford Spar shop.

Ms Milne has praised the many individuals, local businesses and other organisations who have donated supplies.

She said there has been a ‘tremendous’ intake of volunteers lately as people rally around to help those in need.

She is expecting a steep rise in demand from individuals and families who have never needed to use the food bank before, and said she will be organising a referral system to make sure they can get help.

Sidmouth Rotary Club has stepped in to support the food bank.

An anonymous donation of £1,000 made to the club has been passed on to Ms Milne, and members have made their own donations amounting to hundreds of pounds more.

They are being encouraged to give the food bank the money they would normally have spent on lunches at their regular venues, the Victoria Hotel and The Anchor.

President Keith Walton is keen for the Rotary club to be a focal point for the community’s support.

Herald readers are invited to send cheques made out to Rotary Club of Sidmouth to Mr Walton at his home address: Wychwood, Sidcliffe, Sidmouth EX10 9QA, and Sidmouth Rotary will pass on the donations to the food bank.

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