Teign Valley Larder

Introduction

In 2020, we created a community larder for people across the Teign Valley to donate or collect food and essential items.

We aim to help anyone struggling to buy food and essentials and to reduce food waste and food miles.

We continue to evolve, and now also share donations of children’s clothes and run seasonal projects to provide extra help, especially in the winter.

Please join our Facebook Group and read our monthly page in Teign Unity magazine for regular updates and news.

How it works

  • “Oh sugar. I’m out of sugar!” Or nappies, or dog food. You may just have forgotten to pick it up, or it may be hard to afford currently.
  • Visit one of our larder locations. The main larder is inside Christow Church. There is a 24/7 essentials box in the church porch for when the building is locked overnight. There are similar, smaller supplies around the Teign Valley – at Ashton Village Hall, Bridford Church porch, Dunsford Church porch, and Doddiscombsleigh bus shelter.
  • Donate, swap and replace or just take. If you don’t happen to have anything, or can’t afford to donate, just take what you need – that’s perfectly fine. It’s what we’re here for, we want to help everyone. We’re fortunate to receive generous donations and occasional grants to help pay for groceries. But if and when you can make replacements of any kind, or make a cash donation, that is most welcome.
  • No barriers or stigma. We have deliberately not taken a traditional ‘foodbank’ approach where you need to be referred. Rather, we operate on a trust basis, asking people to take only what they need. The larder locations are discreet and anonymous; and anyone going in is just as likely to be donating or volunteering as taking food. It is all reciprocal, community-minded, and continues to work really well.

These videos give more information. The first is a very short introduction made in 2020; the second is a more detailed account of our history, purpose, structure, ethos, model, stats and all, two years on.

Corony, our chair of directors, and Zippy, one of our wonderful stock volunteers, talking about the Larder back in July 2020
Corony giving a longer talk (30 mins) a couple of years later in May 2022, explaining our history, purpose, structure, model, stats, etc!

Cash Donations

We are 100% volunteer organised and run, so apart from some small running expenses (insurance etc) the cash you donate goes straight to providing food to people. We hugely appreciate food donations (both fresh and long-life), but cash donations are even more useful. Here’s why:

  • More of what people need: We get a lot of the same things donated over and over (we’ve often been overwhelmed by beans!) whilst other essentials are almost never donated but can be expensive (laundry liquid). By donating money, you enable us to get things that we know are needed.
  • More food: We can buy in volume at the best prices, including through Fareshare SW, wholesalers, and large supermarket deliveries of own-brand ‘basics’.
  • More flexibility: Having cash in the bank allows us to survive lean times when food donations dwindle. Cash is also much, much easier to store in our very limited space than 137 cans of beans!

You can donate money in various ways:

  1. Repeat donations through your bank account or PayPal are hugely useful. Regular giving really helps us with our budgeting and planning, and is far easier for donors too! Please consider setting up a standing order direct to our Community Interest Company bank account, or via PayPal (note that Paypal takes a percentage cut of what you donate). One-off donations can also be made in these ways.

Unity Trust Bank
Account name: Teign Valley Larder
Number: 20428730
Sort code: 60-83-01

2. Cheques can be made to “Teign Valley Larder” and dropped off / posted to Teign Valley Larder, Barn End, Village Road, Christow, EX6 7LY.

3. Cash can be put into one of the Teign Valley Larder collection pots in local shops, pubs and businesses.

4. You can even buy some Teignbridge Lottery tickets and nominate the Larder as your good cause. Go to www.teignbridgelotteryforcommunities.co.uk/ and search for Larder. 60p of each £1 ticket will come back to us and you may win something too.

Huge thanks to all our current generous donors. It’s all very much appreciated, and vital to sustain this community initiative.

Food Donations

What?

  • We welcome your donations of long-life food and household essentials (no bleach, alcohol or medicines though).
  • We can’t store frozen or refrigerated goods. Fresh items are limited to bread and cakes, eggs and vegetables. Home baked good must be labelled with ingredients and allergens highlighted.
  • See below for a list of what is most needed (and what’s not!)

How?

  • If it’s just a few tinned items and dried goods, please just leave them in your nearest Larder location.
  • If it’s a larger amount, Lovely! Please drop off larger donations at Barn End, Christow, EX6 7LY (on Village Road, opposite the bottom of Church Lane). If no-one is in, you can leave it in the lower (covered) porch. 
Fresh & Out of Date Produce

Surplus fresh garden produce is very welcome, to supplement the things that local producers and growers such as Teign Greens already generously donate. If you put fresh items in the larder, please take a photo and post it to the Larder Facebook page so people know and can get it while it’s still fresh.

We have an Out Of Date (‘OOD’) box in Christow church. This is for food which has a long shelf life (tins, jars, packets of biscuits, rice, tea etc), and which is near or over its ‘best before’ date but is still perfectly good to eat. We welcome such items, partly because our secondary objective is to reduce the amount of food going to waste. Anyone can place items in, or take from, the OOD box. Users do so entirely at their own discretion and risk.

Food Safety – Important

Any food with an expired ‘use by‘ date must not be donated. That is different from ‘best before’ and could be harmful. Apart from fresh fruit and vegetables and eggs, all food including home-baked goods must be labelled with a full list of ingredients and allergens highlighted in bold (Natasha’s Law).  

Fresh fruit ready for the satellites
Delicious out of dates!
Local & organic from Teign Greens

Food Items Needed

We are currently short of:

  • Corned beef and tinned ham
  • Tuna
  • Tinned stew, curry etc
  • 1 litre bottles of vegetable/sunflower oil
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned vegetables (sweetcorn, peas etc)
  • Instant coffee
  • UHT milk​
  • Biscuits
  • Soap, shampoo, toothpaste

We have plenty of:

  • Pasta – someone recently gave us a whole boxful (thank you – you know who you are!)
  • Actually, we’re quite low on everything else!
  • Please avoid kidney beans and chickpeas etc as they tend not to be taken.

Please no:

  • Alcohol
  • Medicines
  • Chemical cleaning products
  • Foods requiring refrigeration
  • Home-baked goods, unless labelled with a full list of ingredients with allergens highlighted in bold (Natasha’s Law).

Volunteers and Thanks

We are very fortunate to have a fantastic team of local volunteers to do a check-in, clean and re-stock every day (Christow) or every week (other locations).

We also have volunteers who help with ordering and receiving deliveries, collecting from Fareshare, fundraising, record-keeping and so on. Our directors are also all volunteers.

Please do get in touch through one of the contact details below if you would like to give your time, or to explore any opportunities or ideas. We’re very friendly!  

Thank you so much to everyone who gives their time and energy to the Larder – nothing would happen without you! And to the Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) of local churches who mainly host our larders – although Teign Valley Larder is not a church organisation itself, we rely heavily on local churches to be able to function.

Contact

Please feel free to contact us on any of this – whether you need particular help at the moment, have thoughts on how the Larder could be improved, would like to donate or volunteer, have a safeguarding concern, are a grant-making or media organisation, or on anything else at all connected with reducing food poverty and food waste in the Teign Valley. Thank you.

Revd Ruth, one of Teign Valley Larder’s directors, at the larder in Christow church

Community Interest Company (12907550)

We registered as a non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) in September 2020. For our full details, including incorporation objects, and list of directors, please see our Companies House listing here.