Generous Grants Help Alleviate Food Poverty and Empower Community Organizations
Devonshire’s Freemasons Executive has recently made substantial contributions to support foodbanks and local charities in Devon. In a commendable effort to combat food poverty, the Freemasons have presented £6,666 to each of the Tavistock, Plymouth, and Buckfastleigh Foodbanks. Furthermore, the Devonshire Freemasons’ benevolent fund has donated £10,000 to match an additional £10,000 from the National Masonic Charitable Foundation, amplifying the impact of their support.
All three foodbanks are part of the ‘Trussell Trust,’ an organization dedicated to eradicating food poverty in the UK. The Tavistock Foodbank, located in the United Reform Church, has been operating since 2012 and currently supports 23 families per week, amounting to around seven tons of food. The foodbank also provides essential items such as nappies, milk, fresh vegetables, and toiletries. Reverend Robert Weston, the Acting Chair of Tavistock foodbank, expressed gratitude for the generous donation, which will cover running costs for approximately four months and enable support for over 350 households.
Plymouth Foodbank, a community project established in 2008, has been actively fighting poverty by providing essential food supplies, along with valuable advice and support to individuals in financial crisis. The foodbank offers services such as budgeting help, money advice, form-filling assistance, and liaising with other agencies. Additionally, they provide training programs, art therapy, cooking sessions, job clubs, and literacy and numeracy lessons. The recent surge in demand for their services, coupled with a decline in donations, has posed challenges for Plymouth Foodbank. The Freemasons’ grant will help sustain the foodbank’s operations and ensure that individuals in need receive the necessary support and provisions.
The Buckfastleigh Foodbank, in operation since 2013, faces unique challenges due to the limited availability of food donations in the town. With only one small supermarket, approximately 30% of their food needs are met through donations, leaving the remaining 70% to be purchased. The generous grant of £6,666 from the Freemasons will significantly contribute to the foodbank’s stock purchasing for the next six to eight months.
In addition to their support for foodbanks, the Freemasons have also extended their generosity to local charities. At a recent meeting, the brethren of the Dartmoor Lodge presented cheques of £300 each to several organizations, including South Brent District Caring, South Brent Scout Group, South West Autism Support Services, South West Autism Mentoring Services, the Mockingbird Programme, and South Brent Primary School. These donations will aid in various endeavors, ranging from improving the quality of life for local residents to providing support and services to young people and fostering sustainable care for children in need.
Representatives from the recipient organizations attended the meeting and shared moving stories about the impact of these donations on their work. The generosity of the Freemasons has been greatly appreciated, underscoring the significant difference their support will make in the community.
The Freemasons’ commitment to alleviating food poverty and empowering local charities exemplifies the spirit of community service and demonstrates the profound impact that collective efforts can have on improving lives. Their generous grants serve as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to contribute and make a positive difference in their communities.