On run up to the 2021 Easter holidays Exeter City Futures lead a major, city-wide operation to assemble substantial parcels of food and essentials to 550 of Exeter’s most vulnerable children and their families, across Exeter and Cranbrook.
Each food parcel was valued at around £75 and included personal care items (including women’s sanitary products), a budget-friendly cookbook (provided at half price directly from the publishers as their contribution to the cause), energy vouchers, as well as both fresh and longer-life food.
The supplies were then sorted and distributed to 30 schools in Exeter and Cranbrook, where children and staff then worked together to assemble the parcels as part of an important educational element of the project – learning about food/fuel poverty and nutrition.
This was a special partnership between:
- Exeter City Futures – liaised with Tesco to secure use of their order system, organised sorting of food, designed order picking system and delivery lanes in warehouse and supported delivery to schools.
- Devon County Council – made £50,000 available to purchase the food as part of their winter grant scheme
- ECFC / CITY Community Trust – used corporate contacts to source a warehouse for sorting food, and secured lorries, vans for delivery. They also collated volunteers and supported delivery to schools.
- Exeter Learning Academy Trust – lead communications with headteachers at each of the 30x local schools to identify families who were most in need. Organised delivery drop-off schedules that suited the schools, helped to organise the educational element of assembling hampers which included the school children.
We also received amazing support from:
- Tesco – gave us use of their order system to order 40,000+ items (breaking a record for number of items ordered and the largest financial transaction), which was delivered in 4 days. They also donated thousands of bags for life and 1,700 easter eggs
- Oxygen House – assembled 10 members of staff to help support sorting of food
- Coastal Recycling – donated recycling bins to the cause so we could tidy up and recycle as we went.
- Thrifty car and van hire – contributed vans for delivery to schools
- Westexe – supplied a forklift truck for unloading deliveries
- Greendale and Ladram Bay – provided use of a lorry and a warehouse unit to store/sort the items.
We wanted to say a huge thank you to every single organization and individual who contributed and volunteered their time to deliver this project – everyone who participated should be proud to have been part of such a positive collaboration that helps bridge local inequalities and supports the wellbeing of Exeter’s citizens.
- £50,000 was made available by Devon County Council to purchase food and essentials as part of their winter grant scheme
- This was used to order 40,000+ items of food and essentials
- 500 budget-friendly cookbooks secured at less than half price direct from publisher
- Energy vouchers included to support those in fuel poverty
- 100+ volunteers came forward to support the unloading and sorting of food and essentials, ready for distribution and assembling of hampers
- Assembled by children and staff at each of the 30 schools adding an important educational element of learning about food/fuel poverty and nutrition. Also feeding into our ‘Collective Action’ goal of the Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan
- Enabling the creation of 550 food and essential parcels
- Each parcel was valued at £75 (value of food and sanitary products)
- Helping to feed Exeter’s most vulnerable children and their families at 30 schools across Exeter and Cranbrook
- The recycling bins, donated by Coastal Recycling enabled the delivery team to manage waste and recycling effectively throughout the duration of the project. This feeds into our ‘Efficient Resource Management’ goal of the Net Zero Exeter 2030 Plan.
- The use of the warehouse, donated by Greendale and Ladram Bay, provided a suitably large space to store/sort the 40,000+ items and enabled ample social distancing space.
Andrew Hardwick, Managing Director at Exeter City Futures, said:
“Whilst it is saddening to see an increasing number of deprived families and children that are in need of support in Exeter, we have been overwhelmed by the level of generosity from across the city in response to their needs.
“These 500 plus food and gift parcels, assembled by local volunteers, will make a huge and tangible difference to each of the families that may have otherwise gone hungry this Easter.”
“This clearly demonstrates one of Exeter City Futures’ key roles for the city – helping bring everyone together to collectively solve shared challenges. Thank you to all the partners and volunteers who have made this such a huge success.”
Anonymised feedback from schools and parents:
“Please can you forward the heartfelt thanks (and tears) of our parents, to all concerned with this project. They have been overwhelmed by the kindness and thought these parcels show.”
“I just wanted to pass on our thanks for organising this and to all the kind companies and people who spared their time and funds. It’s really lovely to see communities pulling together ensuring that no family is left behind.
There is a lot of support out there at the moment and I know this will go a long way to helping many families.”
“Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for the Easter food parcels ~ we couldn’t believe the amount of food there was & our families were so pleased to receive them!”
“Wow! Our families who have received the hampers have been overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the items.”
“Many thanks to everyone involved and particularly to those volunteers who have worked so tirelessly to make this possible.”
“Just to let you know our families are coming in and collecting the hampers and are so grateful, thank you for all your hard work.”
“Thanks for all the communication & organisation! The volunteers that delivered the food yesterday were super helpful and lovely so a big thanks all round.”
“Thank you once again, to all of the team behind this project. What a huge difference this will make to Easter for these families x”
“I just wanted to drop you an email and thank you for organising the food parcelsfor our families that are most in need. They goods arrived today delivered by a lovely volunteer! What was provided was totally amazing and I know our families will appreciatethis enormously!”