DARTMOUTH food bank has appealed for donations as more people feel the pinch with dropping temperatures and rising energy bills, with the arrival of the colder Autumn months.

The food bank, based at Townstal Hall, is run entirely by volunteers, and works to feed the people in Dartmouth and further afield that require assistance. 

Dartmouth Town Cllr Jonathan Hawkins  said: “Over the past 18 months we have seen a marked increase in people that need our help. We are applying to become a full charity (which) will enable anyone who gives us donations we can claim gift aid which will be a big help.”

This need will only increase as summer draws to a close and issues like rising energy bills are at the forefront of people’s minds. 

Jonathan has been a long-standing volunteer at the food bank: “We have a friendly group of volunteers and everyone is always given a warm welcome.

“I have been involved for many years and we have never refused anyone who needs our help. We thank everyone who has been so kind over recent months in particular Marks and Spencer, Lidls and Sainsburys.”

Other recent donations include Harvest Festival hampers from Dartmouth Baptist Church and The Fleet Care Home.  

The food bank is open from 11am until 1pm on Fridays at the Townstal Hall Hub. They also supply Kingswear Food Pantry in St Thomas church and work closely with other local food banks, particularly in Totnes.

Janet Kidson, who volunteers at Dartmouth food bank, said: “The food bank is growing with cost-of-living demands staying high, so we now need to apply for full charity status due to our increase in helping our community,” she said.

“We are lucky to have a few regular donations coming in from some of our lovely residents.  We even had a tourist come in a few weeks ago and give some cash to us, bless her.  

“We also now have an Amazon Wish List, people donate items which we sell, drop off points around the town and special events.  

“We are hoping that this will also help open a few more donation options up for us.”   

The food bank supply a full bag of essentials to people in need. From March to September, they handed out a whopping five hundred and sixty six of these bags.

They have drop off points at Lidl, M&S, Yorkshire B/S, Dartmouth Town Council, Fresh Dental & Implant Clinic and the Friday Hub at Townstal. 

To find out more, or how you can donate, visit: https://dartmouthanddistrictfoodbank.org.uk