‘We always say we are a lifeline for our community. Well, FareShare is a lifeline for us.’- Provide Devon

Plymouth warehouse launch: charity partner spotlight

Provide Devon is a key partner of FareShare South West’s Plymouth operation. A vital element of the food support framework in Plymouth, Provide delivers emergency food to referral agents working with people in extremely vulnerable situations. Their support is highly targeted. They work exclusively with partner organisations to identify people facing crisis. Whether financial, mental health- related, or caused by violence or a sudden change in circumstances. 

We first connected with Provide during our pandemic operation, when they received a supply of DEFRA food. Since then, Provide Devon have engaged in the consultation stages of our Plymouth warehouse launch. They now receive weekly deliveries from the Plymouth warehouse to stock up their cupboards and fridges. Each Tuesday, a FareShare South West volunteer arrives on their doorstep with over 150kgs of chilled and long life food. They receive everything from cheese to fresh fruit to tinned foods.

Steve Bailey manages Provide Devon, working from their base in central Plymouth. From there, volunteers pack individual parcels for each referral they receive- sometimes as many as 80 per week. They pack each parcel with attention and love. Recipes are often included too, as well as pre-made recipe kits to encourage recipients to cook. 

Steve tells us “Many of our referrals highlight the recipient has not had any food or eaten for some days. Therefore, the impact of providing immediate relief is immeasurable. Thanks to deliveries from FareShare, we have a constant supply of varied and quality produce. We can get food to our recipients within hours of receipt.”

“We always say we are a lifeline for our community. Well, FareShare is a lifeline for us.”

Emma received food from Provide while in a crisis situation. She has passed on the difference the food made to her: 

‘Your service offers a lifeline to many people who struggle to pay for food and daily products. The food you offer is always healthy, tasty and gives them a nice opportunity to cook for themselves and take the time to take care of themselves. I believe the community would struggle and would possibly lead to more deaths from starvation and overdose if the service was no longer here.’ 

After the effects of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, Provide Devon is seeing an increase in the number of referrals they receive. They receive donations from the public, too, but these have diminished recently as others feel the strain. The deliveries from FareShare South West each week help keep their cupboards full, so they can continue to be the reliable support they are for so many in Plymouth. 

As we grow our service in Devon and Cornwall, we want to connect with more brilliant local charities like Provide Devon. If you would like to find out more, please email our Head of Region Shelley Wright on shelley.wright@faresharesouthwest.org.uk.