Buckfastleigh food bank is facing unprecedented pressure this winter, as the number of people needing to access food banks is expected to surge.

Food bank manager Kevin Mitchell is calling on the Buckfastleigh community and businesses to donate food and support if they can, to ensure this vital resource can provide help to those in need:

“Buckfastleigh food bank gratefully receives food from the public directly and through donations at supermarkets including the Co-op, Tesco and Morrisons,” says Kevin Mitchell. “Regional firms such as Riverford, Hylsten Bakery, Holne Community Shop and Voyager Coffee also support us generously.

“But in the last six months food donations from the public have dropped by around 50 per cent, mostly because people are struggling to make ends meet,” he said, adding:

“This drop means we have to purchase more of our food, using funds set aside for extra support for people such as helping with winter warmth.”

“We are facing our worst winter yet as we expect a surge in demand for our help as the cold weather bites. 

“We appreciate not everyone can help, but if you are able to, please donate food to us, however little you can afford.” 

Between December and February last winter, Buckfastleigh food bank provided 182 emergency parcels to people within the local community. Staff and volunteers have also provided countless hours of compassion, guidance, and expert support to people who are unable to feed themselves and their families. 

The situation in Buckfastleigh reflects the national picture. This coming winter, UK food banks are expecting to provide more than one million emergency food parcels between December and February – the most parcels ever provided across this period. This equates to an average of one food parcel every eight seconds (11,500 a day) and 7,000 people seeking support each day. 

People can donate to Buckfastleigh food bank in Ivybridge Tesco Extra; South Brent Co-Op or St Petroc’s Church and Buckfastleigh Co-Op, Brainwave charity and St Luke’s Church. The food bank is at St Luke’s Church, Buckfastleigh on Fridays 10am til 12 noon.