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Freemasons from Devon have made a series of Christmas grants to local food banks, bringing their contributions this year alone to around £28,500.

Exeter, North Devon, Buckfastleigh, Tavistock and Plymouth Food banks have received £4000 each from Devonshire Freemasons to help with the expected surge in demand over the festive season.

 plympton foodbank 01

The grants to food banks in Devon are expected to help around 1700 people over the Christmas period.

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty - including 4.5 million children. During the pandemic, food banks supported by the Trussell Trust network saw an unprecedented increase in need. Between April and September, food banks in their network provided 1,239,399 of emergency food parcels to people in crisis – of these, 470,854 went to children. Overall, this represents a 47% increase in need during the crisis compared to a 23% increase seen this time last year. The last published figures (2018-19) suggest over 24,000 food parcels were handed out just in Devon.

Previous Donations from the National Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) Covid-19 Fund:

  • Ivybridge Foodbank £6,000
  • Plympton Team Ministry Community Foodbank £1,500

Devonshire’s local ‘WAKE’ Fund additionally awarded :

  • Plymouth Foodbank £1000

Currently matched funding grants:

  • Northern Devon Foodbank £2,000 from MCF plus £2,000 matchfunded (£4000)
  • Exeter Foodbank £2,000 from MCF plus £2,000 matchfunded (£4000)
  • Tavistock Foodbank £2,000 from MCF plus £2,000 matchfunded(£4000)
  • Buckfastleigh Foodbank £2,000 from MCF plus £2,000 matchfunded (£4000)
  • Plymouth Foodbank £2,000 from MCF plus £2,000 matchfunded (£4000)

The grant from Devonshire Freemasons is financed jointly with the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Leader of Devonshire’s Freemasons Ian Kingsbury said:

“It’s not been an easy time for anyone recently, and we were happy to support such a valuable community asset during the pandemic and we’re happy to help them again during what will be a very difficult Christmas for the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Bro Alec Collyer MBE
Provincial Press Officer