Dart Fresh launch ‘Dart Essential Fresh Produce Box’ Gifting Scheme to the Elderly and Vulnerable Families Facing Food Poverty – working with Exeter Food Action.

The Pritchard family at Dart Fresh are delighted to announce that they have launched a Food Box gifting scheme to help those most in need at this difficult time.  The Exeter-based fresh produce supplier has set-up a scheme where customers can ‘pay forward’ Dart Essential Fresh Produce Boxes to be distributed and delivered free of charge to those who need them most.

Dart Fresh have created the Family Support Box, priced at £25, containing potatoes, swedes, onions, kale, jacket potatoes, carrots, savoy cabbage, greens, mushrooms, pepper, broccoli, parsnips, apples, satsumas, bananas, pears, plums, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot.

They have also released The Dart Family Support Essential Box, priced at £29, contains minced beef, sausages, chicken breasts, diced beef, bacon, eggs, bread, baked beans, local cheese. 

Dart Fresh have been so impressed by the number of people willing to help others in supporting the campaign so far and are very happy to be able to help those in need at this difficult time through the generosity of regular customers and local businesses in donating the boxes.

Dart Fresh Produce will deliver the ‘Paid Forward’ Essential Fresh Produce box free of charge to the elderly and vulnerable families facing food poverty as directed by food redistribution organisations such as Exeter Food Action and community outreach teams across Devon.

Elizabeth Butland, Coordinator of Exeter Food Action said

“Colleagues from Exeter Food Action and I are in touch with the 40+ groups that are working right now to support local communities across Devon and help provide essential food and provisions to residents in need.  Between us, we can help to make sure these really useful boxes of fresh produce from Dart Fresh reach the families, the vulnerable and the elderly that need them the most and help to keep people going at this difficult time.”

Many vulnerable people continue to struggle to get delivery slots with supermarket home delivery services.  Dart Fresh’s supply chain remains unaffected, enabling swift doorstep delivery, getting vital supplies to those who need them most.

John Pritchard, Director at Dart Fresh Produce said

“Since we launched our purpose-built website to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen an unprecedented number of customers requesting free home delivery due to being in isolation. We have decided to introduce this gifting scheme to help the elderly and vulnerable families in isolation, as well as those who are struggling to make ends meet or secure an online food delivery in this desperate situation. We have been overwhelmed with offers of support received so far and thank all of those who have donated vital supplies to those who need them most.”

Dart Fresh Produce are appealing to those who can comfortably afford it, to purchase ‘paid-forward’ Dart Essentials Fresh Produce Boxes online to be gifted and distributed by its fleet of refrigerated delivery vans through contactless delivery across Devon to those in vulnerable groups who need a helping hand at this difficult time.

A home delivery customer has kindly donated towards Dart Essential Fresh Produce Boxes that have already been distributed to families who need them. He said

“It is great to be part of this. It is good to have this very practical way to help others. Thank you Dart Fresh for making it happen”.

To help Dart Fresh to help the elderly and vulnerable families in the community simply click on the link below:


Dart Fresh continue to offer free delivery to customers across Devon, Somerset and Dorset and offer a completely contactless transaction.

A  purpose-built website has been developed exclusively to manage the surge of orders during the Covid-19 pandemic to cope with unprecedented demand for efficient contactless delivery now the country is in lockdown for a third time.

Coronavirus update

We’re grateful that in this time of crisis, businesses are hoping to share food as they close to the public. Our recipients are also beginning to close, so we cannot guarantee that we are able to take this excess food, but we would like to hear from you to discuss. Our lives will be made much easier if you are able to deliver to us in Marsh Barton, but please make contact first.

Food that has a long life is most likely to be used and useful.

The best way to contact us is by email, either through Elizabeth – exeterfoodaction@gmail.com or Jon – exeterfoodactiontreasurer@gmail.com

We will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Many thanks.

Exeter Food Action

Exeter Food Action AGM 2019 – everyone is welcome!

We’re holding our Annual General Meeting at Belmont Chapel on Thursday the 14th of November at 5:30pm. We’ll start with drinks and nibbles, before the meeting commences at 6pm. Everyone is welcome. If you’re hoping to attend, please email Jon on exeterfoodactiontreasurer@gmail.com, so we have enough refreshments for everyone!

Regular Giving Scheme

We’re delighted to tell you about our new Regular Giving Scheme. You can now support the work of Exeter Food Action by giving regularly via this link- Regular Giving Scheme

Our work grows year on year – saving food, stopping waste, and sharing it with the community. Your support is hugely valuable to us. Thanks so much.



Winter 2017 news

Tis the season, and you can now download our Winter 2017 newsletter (pdf). In this edition:

  • Innovations
  • Pleas for help
  • Report on our Annual Reception
  • Update on Food Exeter (formerly the Exeter Food Network)
  • EcoWaste4Food project

Also, a bonus quick report on some volunteer training we had recently. The manual handling of food is really important, both for the food but especially for EFA volunteers who regularly collect and distribute food in crates across Exeter. So Charles Nyeko’s training workshop for us on 2nd December was a really positive opportunity to meet one another and to learn more about the correct ways of lifting and moving boxes of produce.

2011-2017 celebration

Each year we celebrate our work at an Annual Reception and EFA has just celebrated its 6th birthday and appointed Elizabeth Butland as its  new Coordinator. One of her tasks is to work with volunteers to make sure that daily collections from stores run smoothly and that deliveries can be made the next day to appropriate groups. She believes together they can make such a difference to people’s lives.

We now look forward to building on the work Rory put into place and rescuing even more surplus produce in our wasteful society. This could include new premises in the future, more appropriate to our desire to convert in-date food into more storable products such as soups, smoothies, stews or preserves.

One of our recipients is Exeter Foodbank, who now take fresh food and pass it on to their users. This partnership works a treat; it means that the Foodbank can provide fresh food to clients without storage issues, and also ensure that the more unusual food donations we’re offered are well used. Manager Mark Richardson says, “Thank you Exeter Food Action for all your tremendous work – we may be separate charities, but we think we make a great team!”

More food goes to school breakfast clubs such as at Cranbrook. Head teacher Stephen Farmer said, “We know eating well at the start of the day is so important for children and their learning, as well as their quality of life. EFA is doing a vital job in helping us to provide that at school”.

Since its inception, Exeter Food Action has benefitted an estimated 10,000 people in the area. It has saved over £100,000 to local community organisations and reduced carbon emissions by about 100 tonnes! The charity is supported by local councils, churches and community groups and is a partner of Food Exeter.

In the photo are Elizabeth Butland (left) and Saxon Spence (right), who chairs EFA.

Rory Matthews’ last day

Hi everyone

Today marks Rory Matthews’ last day at Exeter Food Action. It’s a sad occasion!! Rory was one of our very first volunteers, and has been employed by for us now for over 5 years. He’s been an incredible gift to this project, and we’re so grateful for his hard work, commitment to the cause and all the things that he has helped us achieve. It’s no exaggeration to say that we would have failed without him. I’ll especially miss his humour and amazing attitude towards work, and this project. We wish him all the very best!

We have a new co-ordinator, who has been a volunteer for almost as long as Rory!! Her name is Liz Butland, and we know you’ll be excited to get to know her!

Now is a good time to start volunteering again – we’re always looking for daytime and evening volunteers; you can get in touch via email at exeterfoodaction@gmail.com.

Thanks Rory, thanks Elizabeth, thanks everyone.


Jon and Rory

Autumn/Winter 2016 news sheet

Welcome to some recent news about our work in Exeter, where we rescue good food that would otherwise be destroyed and redistribute it to community organisations!

October’s News The first ‘Devon Food Forum DFF’ successfully stimulated further discussions about the importance of the EFA’s work. The 13th of October proved to be a rewarding and informative day for community food groups and food banks across Devon…

Download the full news issue (pdf)