East Devon benefits from £45,000 to feed communities in need amid Covid pandemic

A larder feeding Broadclyst residents is among 30 East Devon projects to receive public cash from a Covid community food fund.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has handed out more than £45,000 to residents hit by food poverty amid the coronavirus.

Broadclyst Parish Council – a satellite hub of the Exeter Food Bank – was given almost £3,000 from EDDC’s Coronavirus Community Food Fund to continue supporting more than 80 households, who have relied on additional help since April 2020.

The cost of staff time, mileage, the hire and equipment of a temporary building to use as a food bank and operational costs has come out of Broadclyst Parish Council’s purse, EDDC said.

Councillor Henry Massey, Broadclyst Parish Council chairman, said: “With a parish covering over twenty-five square miles, many of our households do not have good access to the public transport network and the cost of keeping a vehicle on the road caused an unsustainable additional strain on reduced household budgets.

“We recognised that there was a danger that people would not be able to access vital supplies if they had to travel to Exeter to pick up food parcels, so we are very grateful to EDDC for helping us to fund mileage costs for our network of community volunteers who have delivered vital supplies to doorsteps for the last year.”

Council cash allocated to Broadclyst helped pay for basic essential items to boost emergency food parcels, including nappies, wet wipes, general cleaning, kitchen and laundry products.

Funds were also used to pay volunteers mileage for delivering food parcels to residents.

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Councillor Marianne Rixson, EDDC portfolio  holder with responsibility for Coronavirus response and recovery said: “We are very pleased to have facilitated projects by working with community groups across the district.

“We would like to thank everyone involved by providing food and other essential items where residents have been in dire need.

“These have proved absolutely vital during the pandemic, the statements made by Broadclyst Parish Council and Exeter Food Bank highlight the broad range of help that has been required and provided.”

Angie Hurren, Broadclyst council parish clerk and food bank manager, said the satellite hub would continue for as long as it was needed.

She said the service had developed to distribute food with short sell-by dates donated by shops.

“Having built working relationships with local shops and supermarkets, we are looking at increasing the area we cover by working with neighbouring councils and community organisations,” said Mrs Hurren.

“The redistribution of short date food can address food poverty while minimising food waste, freeing-up some money in over-stretched household budgets.”

To find out more see here. To contact Broadclyst Parish Council for help, call  01392 360269, email support@broadclyst.org

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