There With You: Community larder volunteers wanted as demand continues to rise

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 March 2020

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Archant

Exmouth’s community larder needs volunteers to come forward as demand for its service continues to rise during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Christian churches initiative has begun offering a delivery service for those who have gone into isolation either because of their age or because they are deemed by the Government to be ‘high risk’.

To meet the fast-rising demand for food parcels, volunteer drivers, sorters and packers – under the age of 70 – are being urged to come forward.

Anthony Bernard, coordinator of Exmouth Community Larder, said: “Volunteers need to be able to work well distanced from each other and well separated from anyone coming in - so the issue is not how many volunteers there are, but how well everyone can remain distanced while maintaining the service.

“Many of the usual larder users are also keeping isolated for medical reasons, so the larder is gearing up for very many more deliveries.”

The Salvation Army hall in Sheppards Row, where the larder is based, has been rearranged to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Deliveries will be made available for those who are ‘shielding’ - self isolating as their age and/or medical conditions make them at risk to Covid-19 according to the NHS.

For drivers, the procedures put in place by the larder minimises the contact they make - the delivery can be put into a vehicle by another volunteer and supplies are left on the recipients’ doorstep.

The community larder will remain open at its usual times – Monday and Friday, 1.30pm until 3.30pm - but users are being asked to arrange deliveries by phone or email beforehand.

While the larder has good reserves of basic non-perishable food, donations of food – especially tins and packets – are always welcome.

Mr Bernard added: “The present retail crisis prevents cash being converted into products.

“Bread is effectively unavailable, and long-life milk and some other basics are running out.

“Gaps on the shelves are normally filled with purchases from supermarkets - but the usual bulk buying is currently frustrated.

“Hopefully there will soon be a way around this.”

Cash and cheque donations are welcomed and will allow the larder to ‘eventually’ be restocked.

To help with volunteering or donations ring 07749 322291 or 07787 882075 or email info@exmouthlarder.co.uk


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