Anthony Bernard: Can we reach further than support for the foodbank?

A star-studded line-up of famous faces have joined forces to support the Get Together campaign inclu

A star-studded line-up of famous faces have joined forces to support the Get Together campaign including Rylan Clark-Neal, Tess Daly, Fleur East, Marvin Humes, Rochelle Humes, Danny Jones, Ashley Roberts and Laura Whitmore - Credit: Archant

We’re all in this pandemic together writes Anthony Bernard, coordinator of Exmouth Community Food Larder

Happy news is requested by the editor to balance all the gloom assailing us daily, if not hourly... so let’s think of what is good...

Food is in plentiful supply - we mostly have enough in the cupboard and the shops are now stocked. The Community Larder foodbank is also well stocked through the generosity of the whole community to help anyone in a food crisis.

Community spirit and mutual helping is positive news - of course, there are moaners. The foodbank no doubt has a few trying to get something for nothing, which gives some people an excuse not to join the majority donating or offering help! Hey-ho!

Water, gas and electric continue to arrive as usual - we remember all the engineers, postmen and postwomen, bin collectors, maintenance staff, EDDC and town council support staff, rental agency offices and very many others who maintain the fragile fabric of our world so that it seems more solid than maybe it is.

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Healthcare is available to us all - in the USA it is only available to those who can afford it, despite their national wealth.

The NHS is truly amazing in all that it does achieve for any and for all of us; under pressure, it is that much more amazing!

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Phones and internet are working well; we may make better contacts with long phone calls than we had with a few snatched words during brief chats in noisy coffee shops and pubs before all this happened!

Of course, there are problems; I have heard one politician described as Captain Hindsight, with regret that we do not have Captain Foresight. We face unforeseeable problems with this virus; nobody really knows.

Our TV news is skewed to give hours of British pandemic problems. Meanwhile, thousands of people in western USA have lost their homes due to raging fires; Belarus is in permanent uproar; several places are on the brink of open warfare, but with only a few people killed so far.

But a huge proportion of people around the world are still living in awful squalor without enough food, clean water, sanitary conditions or housing; living in conditions that the RSPCA would not permit for animals - and all that with this awful virus on top.

As we worry about jobs and income lost in the hospitality and travel sectors, there must be a corresponding surplus of money that has not been spent in the usual way... will the crisis bring about a rethink in how we use resources?

Supporting the foodbank is both needed and within our reach, but how can we reach further?

All charities are struggling in this pandemic, not only overseas aid but mental health, Pudsey’s Children in Need and very many others are ready to make good use of everyone’s unspent ‘cruising and boozing’ budgets!

We are all in this pandemic together... we are all in this same world together!

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