For the many individuals and families struggling with the cost of living crisis, Christmas can be a particularly challenging time. It is for Exeter Food Action too because much of the surplus, festive food donated to us in the run up to Christmas comes just that little bit too late for us to get it to those very people in time for the big day.
Not knowing what we’re going to get, and when, makes planning almost impossible, and getting turkeys, christmas puddings and mince pies etc. a few days after the event can mean the enjoyment of what should be a day of celebration turns into one of disappointment, and even guilt and shame.
But thanks to a challenge-busting partnership with the Exeter Chiefs Foundation, who came to our rescue with a generous pre-Christmas grant of £10,000 to address this very challenge, we’re now able to distribute hundreds of festive meals, ensuring that people who might otherwise face a potentially miserable time, get to enjoy a proper Christmas Day, just like everyone else.
On Wednesday, with just five days to go, we were joined at our warehouse by celebrity chef Michael Caines, MBE, and Exeter Chiefs team members, full back and wing player, Josh Hodge, and scrum-half, Sam Maunder, all sharing their commitment to the partnership. Michael Caines spoke movingly of how vital it was to him and the Foundation, of which he’s a trustee, that our partnership gets to feed so many people at such an important time. And staff members, Elizabeth and Wendy, spoke of how delighted and grateful we are that the partnership enables us to get festive food onto the tables of the many people we support in time for Christmas.
We were also joined on the day by an ITV film crew and, in the clip below from our Twitter/X account (click to view), you can watch ITV Journalist of the Year 2018, Claire Manning, interviewing Michael, Josh, Sam, Elizabeth and Wendy.
Thanks to everyone involved, including all of our our amazing volunteers, who’ve helped us spread some real Christmas cheer, and particularly thanks to the Exeter Chiefs Foundation who made it all possible.