Exmouth Community Larder: January – not just Christmas – is very much a time for giving
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 January 2019
Anthony Bernard, of Exmouth Community Larder, has been talking about how Christmas has left the lifelife service ‘well placed’ for 2019.
“Christmas, with all its affluent excesses, is now behind us and we settle back into normal life.
“The Bible story tells how the baby Jesus was rushed to Egypt as a refugee from the murderous despotic King Herod - so much for mankind then and now.
“While 2018 was a record year for people needing help at The Larder, 2014 was very similar - needs don’t seem to change as much as one would expect.
“Thanks to your generosity in the run-up to Christmas, we now have more reserves than ever before, so are well placed to support whatever is needed in 2019.
“Donations always drop off after the Harvest Festivals and Christmas, so please don’t imagine the job is ‘done’!
“Whatever crisis people face, being hungry doesn’t assist a balanced response to the problem.
“On the other hand, getting food hand-outs does not by itself help people to face their problems.
“This may well be to get expert help to challenge a ruling after benefits are curtailed; it can be to get help confronting an addiction; perhaps a family problem; there are as many reasons as we have clients!
“Of course, there are a few people we suspect of ‘taking advantage’.
“We are conscious of our responsibility to donors who expect us to give food only to people who truly need it.
“The referring agencies help to establish the correct balance.
“More worrying is people who do not come to us for whatever reason but who do have a ‘food emergency’. No one should feel embarrassed at coming to ask for help; the time to feel embarrassed is failing to give something back when life returns to a balance, maybe a few years later.
“A happy new year to all, with kindness and compassion throughout!”