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 .

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)


New hubs or mini-hubs?

We are keen on exploring the possibility of developing new hubs or mini-hubs for its work in other parts of Devon. In particular we would like to talk with other organisations in East and Mid Devon at this point and see what plans might be made together for taking this idea forward. This includes local Food Banks, Housing Associations, church meal schemes, breakfast clubs, Children’s Centres, etc.

There will be an informal preliminary discussion at St. Rita’s Centre in Honiton on Thursday 25th February at 11.00a.m.

Please do join us if you can, and if you know others who may be interested kindly let me know at .

We did it!!


We set ourselves a target of raising £6,000 on Crowdfunder, and you amazing people have smashed it!

204 super supporters have generously donated £6,826 in 28 days. You have enabled us to purchase more fridges and freezers, secure our future until at least Summer 2017, and save and share much more food.

Your support is hugely appreciated!


Winter 2015 newsletter

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!

New Title

We have changed our name! DCFA (Exeter) is now Exeter Food Action. We are still the Exeter hub of the DCFA but as potential new hubs develop we want to keep our city identity and pride! In the next few weeks there will be new posters and banners, though our work will stay the same…

Exeter Stats for the Year

November figures – 2,171 tonnes food saved; reducing 1,022 kilos CO2; £5,427 saved for the community.

Our annual figures are 22,413 kilos (nearly twenty two and a half tonnes) of good food saved to end of November. This adds to carbon savings of 10,556 kilos CO2 and more than £60,000 of financial savings to community groups in and around Exeter over the year.

We estimate that maybe £12 is saved indirectly for every £1 EFA spends!

Latest News

Marks & Spencer on the High Street are our newest suppliers! We have been collecting from them each evening since November 23rd. They will become the fifth major food retailer in the city to work with us.

Daily Bread

One our new suppliers in Exeter is the recently opened Pret-a-Manger who have been providing us with 50-100 sandwiches on a daily basis. Rather than wasting time and energy storing these at Spinning Path, our wonderful volunteers take them direct to a city centre homeless project at the end of each day.

A ‘whole’ cow story

This summer a local farmer contacted us regarding a cow he had which was coming to the end of her life and which he didn’t want ending up as cat food.

So he had it slaughtered locally and brought us the meat for distribution!

New Volunteers

We have welcomed over 20 new volunteers since the Spring. Long standing volunteer Joan collects every day from Heavitree Coop for us. And she also offers her allotment for any remaining food to be composted and returned to the earth! Completing the food cycle is the way to eradicate food waste…

Community Festivals

Exeter Food Action has just produced a new paper leaflet (copies available on request). Amongst other activities, these are taken around to various local food festivals in the area. We were at Newtown in September and will be at the Taste of the West at Westpoint next February.

Other Local Food News

Exeter Food Network now has twenty member organisations and set up its new website EFN has also registered Exeter as a Sustainable Food City.

One of the new projects developed over the summer has been a Cookery Course run at St. Sidwell’s Centre with food supplied by us at EFA. This has been especially aimed at families whose children are dependent on school meals, which are obviously not available in the holidays. The pilot course encouraged 28 children from 3 schools to prepare and cook meals, for their own use and to take home – therefore learning new recipes and skills, and also with some craft work too. A full report is on the EFN website.

Explorations continue into a potential Real Exeter Centre with food, energy, arts and community economy elements.

DCFA would like to thank South West Water and all its other funding partners for 2015/16
Registered Charity no : 1155313, Company registration no : 07419679