The Ottery food bank currently receives around one request for help a week, but the need is expected to rise significantly next year, when the cold weather really bites and many state benefits are cut.

Food is distributed through front-line agencies in social, health and education services. Most of the requests received thus far come through Social Services based in Ottery but the church also welcomes referrals from other agencies.

Volunteers collect the following items, which should have as long a shelf life as possible.

Tins: meat, fish, soup, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, spaghetti, fruit, rice/sponge puddings, custard

Cartons: long life milk and fruit juice

Packets: rice, pasta, noodles, savoury rice, cereals, tea bags, sugar, biscuits

Jars: coffee, pasta sauce

Volunteers cannot issue food which has passed its ‘best before date.’

Food collection boxes are available in Roberts Hardware shop, most of the Ottery Churches and St Michael’s, West Hill. Items can also be taken to the central store at the Kings Centre Food Bank, Honiton.

For more information, email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)