Here is an introduction to our foodbank.
Our foodbank is was founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in our local area.
We opened in very modest premises in Bideford in July 2012. Within weeks we outgrew our first home and found larger temporary premises until settling at Supreme House. Simultaneously, we set up our Barnstaple Branch in the Salvation Army Hall but later moved to St Johns Community Centre and, courtesy of Evans Transport, a separate warehouse. Branches at South Molton and Ilfracombe followed. In 2015 we moved to a larger warehouse. In 2020 we started working with partners in Holsworthy and Lynton. Each branch is self supporting in terms of volunteers, service and fundraising.
In addition to our core services, each branch has its own locally led specialities. For example, the Barnstaple Branch houses an outreach centre for the Citizens Advice, and Ilfracombe Branch runs a “Pay-what-you-can” Community Cafe. The branches are supported by central administration and warehousing volunteers.
Our More than Food programme includes encouraging supported volunteers and also running “Healthy Eating on a Budget” courses using professional tutors and portable kitchen/classroom equipment.
The Foodbank services about 850 square miles of Northern Devon from the branches and our rural distribution network. The rural nature of our district sets us quite a challenge both logistically and financially. About 100 wonderful volunteers make it all happen.