In addition to issuing the infographic, they published the following message to their team of volunteers:
To All Our Larder Volunteers: Update
We have just reached our first month of the larder being up and running so it seems a good time to touch base with you all about how it’s going.
A small organising committee has been meeting (virtually) each week, to consider both operational matters and the wider issues of how we take the larder forward. We have just heard that our risk assessment that we submitted a couple of weeks ago has been accepted by CAG (Community Action Groups, Devon) which confirms our insurance cover. We are in the process of applying for our own bank account and in due course, will be making an application to the Charity Commission for charitable status. All this will help us ensure we have good governance of the project and it will be easier to apply for funding. We are actively exploring options for a more permanent home for the larder, including a mobile trailer.
The support we have received from our local communities has been fantastic. In addition to start-up grants from Dartmoor National Park and Christow Land Trust, we have received both cash and goods donations from local businesses and individuals alike. Donation boxes are now in situ in the various villages in the Teign valley and we are starting to benefit from donations to these in addition to the donation point in the larder itself. Since opening on 8th May, we have received in excess of 690 donated items, about one third being donated in the first week of operation. This includes a lot of unwanted items from the government food boxes received by local people (33 cans tuna, 24 cans meatballs, gallons of pasta sauce and a small mountain of rice and pasta). These items, we hope, will help tide us over the autumn and winter period when demand may be higher than currently. Any excess that we are just not using will be donated to Exeter food bank in due course. But in the meantime, we are happy to build up our stores to be ready for any possible leaner periods.
It can be hard when doing your volunteer shift to ascertain if the larder is being used regularly, especially as we try hard to always maintain a good variety of foods to choose from. So we closely monitor what goes out of the barn stock and to date, nearly 500 items have been used to restock the larder, by all of you. This tells us that items are being taken and we are delighted that this is the case. Popular items seem to be:
- Tinned meat products
- Sponge puddings
- Tinned potatoes and veg
- Pet food
- Cleaning products especially laundry liquid
In addition, fresh fruit and veg are popular but due to being perishable, we need to see faster throughput of these items. Once all our garden produce starts to arrive, we hope the larder will benefit from those excess tomatoes and courgettes!
So please be our ambassadors and ‘eyes and ears’ out in our communities and put the message out to your friends and neighbours who wish to support us, letting them know which items are in demand. We will keep you all up to speed on this as we anticipate this could change over time. Once we have our bank account up and running, we will also be able to receive cash donations.
We regularly review the feedback slips left in the larder but recently we have also sought feedback from Acorn Community Service as they have been actively involved with helping some housebound and/or shielding clients access the larder. Here are a few of the comments received:
“Wonderful to see fresh eggs, I wasn’t expecting that”
“I managed to swap my excess for something else different and new to me”
“I’m so grateful, I don’t know how I’d manage without it”
“I’m visiting the larder for someone I support in the village, it has been really useful, thank you to everyone involved”
“It’s brilliant and is going from strength to strength, well done to everyone involved. It’s wonderful to see communities coming together”
Food Hygiene Training Opportunity
Is anyone interested in completing a food hygiene course as part of their volunteering role? This is an online course, takes 3 hours or so and would need to be completed between 9th-24th June. The course fee would be met out of our funds. If interested, please email Corony Edwards at email@example.com by Mon 8th June.
Finally, without all of you doing what you do each week, the larder would just not function properly, so a very big ‘thank you’ to you all from the organising committee. Your practical help, your support and enthusiasm is very much appreciated. If you have ideas for improvements, suggestions or issues we need to address, please contact anyone of us. We’d love to hear from you:
Corony Edwards, Louise Webb, Ted Miller, Chris Keppie, Vinny Logan, Rev Ruth Frampton