Exmouth optician good Samaritans praised for ‘huge’ donation of food to boost town’s larder

Food donations collected by customers of Exmouth Specsavers have filled more than 30 bags for people in need, prompting praise for the good Samaritans.

Staff from the Exeter Road store challenged the community to donate food in a bid to help the Exmouth Food Bank fill its larder.

Exmouth Food Bank, in the Salvation Army hall, Salvation Row, said demand for the service had risen because of the cost-of-living crisis, and praised the generosity of those who had made the donations.

Shirley Newcombe, Exmouth Food Bank vice-chair, said: “We are delighted to receive such a huge donation of food from the staff and customers of Exmouth Specsavers.

“Demand for the food bank has significantly risen during the past few months and this contribution will ensure that we can continue to support those in need during these financially difficult and uncertain times.”

She added: “We would encourage anyone struggling to feed themselves or their families to contact us, and they can be assured that they will receive a warm welcome.”


Exmouth Specsavers staff, customers and passers-by have donated more than 30 bags of food for the town’s food bank.
Photo: Specsavers.


The donated food.
Photo: Specsavers.

Customers and passers-by donated a raft of tinned, packet and long-life food for the town’s larder to distribute.

Currently, the town’s food bank supports more than 125 people each week. Last year it supplied 2,177 food parcels, feeding 4,405 people.

Recent levels of demand for food parcels are more than double the annual averages for 2014-2020 – caused, in part, by the effects of Covid-19, and the rising cost of living, fuel and utility bills.

Kim Swinbourne, dispensing optician at Specsavers Exmouth, said: “We’re so grateful to the people of Exmouth for supporting our charitable food collection.

“Times are hard for a lot of people at the moment. There are many in need and many who can’t afford to donate the few things they have, and yet we have had beans, soups, pasta, biscuits and tinned veg donated.

“It’s amazing. We’re so grateful. All these goods will go to local people who might otherwise have had to go hungry.”


The donations ready to handover to the food larder.
Photo: Specsavers.

The town’s food bank was set up 10 years ago by a group of local churches, with the aim of providing free, emergency, help to individuals and families in crisis.

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