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Funding from Freemasons helps Plympton Foodbank during Coronavirus outbreak

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Plympton Team Ministry Foodbank helped by Devonshire Freemasons after massive increase in demand due to coronavirus

Local people living in food poverty will continue to receive fresh food from the Plympton Team Ministry Foodbank, thanks to a grant of £1,500 from Devonshire Freemasons.

Activity at the foodbank has grown rapidly after opening in early April with the volunteer group at Plympton Team Ministry having supplied sufficient food for well over 100 people since the lockdown began. Many recipients are children, and in some cases the food support is repeated on a monthly basis – thus providing the only food they have for some weeks until other support can respond to their needs.

Among those who will benefit are the most vulnerable in the local Plympton community such as:

  • Families where both earners have recently lost their jobs due to Covid 19;   
  • Individuals with learning difficulties who have had to move from assisted residential care to individual living;   
  • Cancer patients who have for whatever reason, fallen through the cracks and had little access to food while shielding;
  • Young families in emergency housing;  
  • Families who could not pay the rent nor their utility bill due to loss of their job through Covid 19. 
  • A number of people, especially the  elderly and others, who have had difficulty in navigating through online services to access food deliveries
  • Some with mental health issues are finding difficulty in coping with the impact of Covid 19 
  • A few are suffering from domestic abuse and others have no access to public funds due to be newly self-employed at the start of Covid.

Referrals are currently being recevied from schools and charities such as Barnardos, Homestart, church ministers and Doctor’s surgeries.

Phil Smith, Churchwarden and Foodbank Co-Ordinator at the Plympton Foodbank said: 'We are incredibly grateful to Devonshire Freemasons for their generous donation to help us maintain the supply of food to those in need and also build up the stock of food in readiness for an expected increase in unemployment. We feel much more confident now that the sudden increase in need expected in the next two months can be met quickly by purchasing food if we cannot obtain sufficient donations to respond effectively. The feedback we are receiving from our supported individuals and families is incredible and they are so grateful that they can now access food in their own community, rather than having to travel with difficulty to central Plymouth to access food for their families.'

The grant from Devonshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' Charity, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.

Peter Keaty, accompanied by Reuben Ayres from the Devonshire Freemasons, said: 'We are proud that we have been able to support Plympton Team Ministry Foodbank, who are doing such wonderful work helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community during these very challenging times.'