About the Sid Valley Food Bank
Sidmouth and the surrounding villages in east Devon are, in general, prosperous areas. But occasionally some people find themselves without food or the money to buy food.
The Food Bank was set up by local churches to help in times of crisis by distributing much needed provisions. Local Supermarkets Waitrose, Co-op, and Sidford Spar kindly support this initiative by providing collection points for food donations. More collection points are on our Donate Food page.
A voucher system is used for those in need of food. Our Get Food Help page gives more details.
News 9th September 2019
We had a very busy summer again this year where, in addition to our core business of providing food to those in need, we undertook a number of other activities.
We continued to provide School Meal Support for those children entitled to free school meals during term time. We helped 63 children resident in Sidmouth attending Key Stages 1 & 2, but this year included those in Key Stage 3 education studying in Axminster, Colyton and Sidmouth.
As coordinator I also asked the Trustees to back an initiative
to support families by providing the essential uniform required in starting back to school. This scheme was aptly known as the ‘Back to School Bank’. It appears to be a success with donations of used and new items.
Also, cash donations enabled us to offer £20 vouchers to be used at Thomas Moore, a school uniform provider. I was honoured to give 30 children this support. We still have cash to help those children requiring equipment support throughout the academic year and I will be liaising with Parent Support Advisors and School Welfare teams about the best way to distribute this cash.
Autumn has finally arrived and the Foodbank is looking at how to manage and sustain the support that will be needed over the next 6 months. We are in the process of reviewing the food vouchers we work from and subsequently the follow-on support that is needed. We will be contacting referrers and referring agencies in October with the finalised updates.
We are also in the process of organising extra Christmas support, including our ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’.
Discussions are in progress with the Trustees and Sidmouth Town Council, looking options to reduce the massive logistical problems we have in our present accommodation. With the high demand, the increase in stock and time needed to manage the session is proving difficult.
So with after a busy summer we are looking forward to a productive Autumn.
As always, we thank those who donate and the volunteers who give their time, without which the Food Bank would not be possible.
The main business of supplying food continues, and we always need donations. Please see our latest Shopping List.
Our Donate Food page lists the places you can leave food for collection, and our Donate Cash page shows ways you can give money if you prefer. As always, we thank you for your help, in whatever form it takes.
We are keen to expand our list of volunteers, particularly drivers. If you would like to help, there’s more information on our Volunteer page.
Mustard Seed Cafe
The cafe is also a christian bookshop, situated opposite the Unitarian church. There are joint initiatives between it and the Food Bank.
Gateway was set up following a death in 2015 of a homeless person, and the second incident in November 2015 shows that help is needed, even in prosperous areas like ours. Click for more about Gateway.
Help with energy
When it’s a problem buying food, it is a struggle to pay energy bills as well. The government’s Warm Home scheme provides support for those eligible.
Organisations that can help with advice about benefits and grants are listed on our More Help page.