An important message from our Chair of Trustees

15th May 2020

The Manager and Trustees of Exeter Foodbank are very upset about some misinformation which has been circulating recently.

There have been various community groups who have set up projects during the current crisis to provide food provision. We fully support ventures like this and welcome the support. There is a global crisis and we all need to work together.

What has deeply upset us has been the publicity from some of these groups that they are serving clients who are ‘not eligible’ for support from the traditional foodbanks.

Our criteria is that we support clients who ‘have little or no money to buy food’. There is no other form of eligibility or criteria. To imply that some clients and families cannot come to Exeter Foodbank is very upsetting for us and undermines the work that we do.

We support people who receive benefits.
We support people who do not receive benefits.
We support older people, young people, families and single people.
We support people who are employed and people who are looking for employment.

We serve over 250 people a week at the current time, and have built good relationships with over 150 referral agencies in the city over a period of 12 years. We work with almost every school, every church, every charity and many other community groups. The reason that we have a referral criteria and a voucher system is that it:

a) It ensures that the donations are going to people who are in genuine need – we owe this to all of the people who support us and it helps to maintain the integrity of our Christian charity.

b) The agencies who refer to us are all experts in their particular field. This means that the clients are also getting additional support rather than just a bag of food. They may be getting assistance with debt, benefits, medical issues etc. We want to ensure that we are not just a ‘sticking plaster’ charity, but one that helps address the real causes.

Please pass on and share this message, with our goodwill and assurance that we are here to support anyone who is in need of support. 

Sarah Hornblower,
Chair of Trustees
Exeter Foodbank

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