On a recent visit to St.Luke’s Methodist Church in Buckfastleigh, Peter Keaty, Assistant Head of the Devonshire freemasons accompanied by Reuben Ayres and Walker Lapthorne met the Foodbank Manager Felicity Ferry to present her with a certificate denoting the £4000 grant made to them by the Devonshire Masonic Benevolent Fund together with the Masonic Charitable Fund (MCF).
When discussing the work undertaken by the foodbank Felicity told Peter that most of their donations of food and cash came from the public and supermarket collections, they serve up to 80 families every week. To keep the centre running smoothly takes around 20 volunteers split into 3 teams, those who collect, those who sort it all out and those who distribute it to the families in need.
What became very evident to Peter was the total dedication by Felicity and her team, had not only to the work but for the people they served, an incredible group.
Freemasons from Devon have made a series of grants to local food banks, bringing their contributions over the last twelve months to over £28,500.
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 last 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:
- Plymouth Foodbank £4,000
- Exeter Foodbank £4,000
- Northern Devon Foodbank £4,000
- Tavistock Foodbank £4,000
- Buckfastleigh Foodbank £4,000
The grant from Devonshire Freemasons Benevolent Fund is financed jointly by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W. Bro Peter Keaty said:
“It’s not been an easy time for anyone recently, and we were happy to support such a valuable community asset during these increasingly difficult times”
Bro Alec Collyer MBE
Provincial Press Officer