Feedback from emergency food providers across South Devon shows a number of challenges:
- all providers are reporting a reduction of food donations (in some cases also monetary donations) – this includes lack of fresh produce from redistributed agricultural surplus, supermarket donations and also paid-for-supplies (i.e. FareShare)
Some organisations have managed to alleviate this through exploring new avenues (for example Buckfastleigh Foodbank now has a new collection point at their local Co-op store).
- some providers see greatly increased client numbers
one provider reported a 30% increase this quarter and expect further increase as we go into the autumn and winter months
In response to those challenges town and district wide foodbanks tend to offer more and more long term support beyond the initial six weeks following the preliminary referral and there are some food centred network meetings of key local VCSE organisations to
- a) create better mutual referral routes between VCSE organisations and increased cooperation
- b) exploring the need for and set up of new, sustainable food support models
The preparation for set up of new provisions such as
- Community Fridges in Bovey Tracey, Exminster, South Brent
- Exploration of a solidarity veg box scheme in the Teign Valley area
- A social supermarket in Ashburton
In addition Teignbridge CVS has also joined the recently formed Cost of Living Alliance which is facilitated by the national charity Community Organisers and we have been asked to be part of the Devon, Plymouth &Torbay VCSE Assembly- Food Insecurity Specialist Hub on behalf of DeVA (Devon Voluntary Action).
Teignbridge CVS have also recruited two new volunteer drivers for the Food Alliance to share surplus produce across different locations over the summer months.