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Opening the Larder

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Mar, 2021 10:04 PM

Because of lockdown measures, many are losing income and needing help with the basics of life, and our parishes and schools can provide a lifeline.

Chapmanslade Churchwarden Ian Buick explains:

"February saw the launch of an extension to the food support being offered by the COV-AG group in Chapmanslade. From the early stages of the pandemic, the need for food boxes became apparent. A public appeal was launched, and donations have allowed the group to provide freshly purchased essentials to anyone in need.

"This has been quietly building up, as the effects of the lockdowns and associated job and self employed work reductions have increased. Quite naturally people have been attempting to weather this from their own resources, however, now we are reaching the anniversary of the first lockdown it became clear that as well as those who need full assistance, there are others who are finding themselves with a shortfall in their food cupboards.

"The COV-AG group considered what to do, and decided to provide an open Larder in the village, where anyone can pick up packet and tinned foods. From the very beginning, the church has been a core member of the Covid relief and caring effort in the village. The funds raised for food boxes have been held in the church accounts, and as a charity, it was possible to add gift aid on those donations.

"When the call came for a covered place to put the Larder, it was quickly established that the porch in St Philip and St James Church was the best place to put it. In addition, it was felt that this scheme, along with the expanding food box arrangements should be insured. The result is that both schemes have been fully adopted by the Church Parish Council (PCC)."

On a personal note, Ian says:

"As one of the COV-AG team as well as my job in the church, I am delighted that we are able to host the Church Porch Larder, and offer complete backing for both schemes. It was a logical extension to the fund administration we have already been involved in. It is also exactly the kind of support the church is dedicated to provide to everyone in our community, and I would like to thank the members of the PCC for their immediate approval when the idea and possible location were suggested."

The Larder is open 24 hours, 7 days per week, and it is possible to collect items from the container in the church porch. Donated packet and tinned items which are in date are also welcomed, and can be put in the container for others to use. There is no upper limit, as any surplus or slow moving items will be sent to the Warminster and District Food Bank, who are always delighted to receive donations.

Ian adds:

"It isn’t clear how long support is going to be needed, but COV-AG organisers have confirmed that as long as there is a need, it will be in place, not just for food, but in all the other many ways they have been working to bring relief and a real sense of community to the residents of Chapmanslade."

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