Exeter businesses donate hundreds of items to support city's foodbank at Christmas

Over 500 items of food have been donated by Exeter businesses to support local families this Christmas.

The generous companies made the donations in aid of the Exeter Foodbank at an event staged by NatWest at the city’s Cookery School recently.

Last year more than 5,500 people, including 1,610 children, needed to use the foodbank, which was launched in 2008 to help people affected by financial crisis.  In just two years the average number of people using the service each week has doubled to 180 and staff say this likely to increase to over 200 in 2019.

Over 100 companies attended the event, which was part of NatWest’s Boost event series in Devon. Organised by James Court, NatWest Business Growth Enabler for Exeter and Mid and North Devon, the events aim to empower businesses and help them succeed and grow.

But with Christmas just around the corner James wanted to use his latest event to help a cause close to many people’s hearts in the city.

James said: “Our NatWestBoost programme has been an incredible success this year reaching more than 1,000 local businesses. Communities though are at the heart of everything we do as a bank, which is why we wanted to use one of our last events of the year to help raise vital donations for a cause that supports so many people in the Exeter region. The response from local businesses was incredible and truly inspiration to see and we’d like to thank them all for their wonderful support.”

Mark Richardson, of the Exeter Foodbank, said: “We are so grateful for the wonderful generosity of local businesses and NatWest. Sadly, the number of people in the Exeter region who are reliant on our services is increasing every year, which is why the foodbank is so important. These donations will go towards helping the lives of so many people this Christmas. Thank you on behalf of everyone at the Exeter Foodbank.”

To find out more about how to donate to the foodbank visit www.exeter.foodbank.org.uk