David CoxCouncillor for Teignmouth West and Trustee to HITS, with Dave Gibson who volunteers as a driver for HITS

With increasing pressures to support more people locally, Homeless In Teignbridge Support (HITS) foodbank has been given a helping hand.

The charity, which has seen an unprecedented rise in demand since the beginning of the pandemic, has received £1,400 from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm Fund after applying for support.

The money has been used to purchase a large catering freezer so that food can be kept fresh for longer.

The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like HITS, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive

We have seen a steady rise in the number of local people who require the support of our foodbank, but since March this has been extraordinary.

We are lucky that we get so much support from individuals, businesses and restaurants, but keeping things fresh for as long as possible is always a struggle. We were delighted to receive this funding from Wales & West Utilities which will now benefit foodbank users for years to come.

Dr Chris Code, Trustee for HITS

During the first lockdown HITS provided food for hot meals to those unable to get out or cook their own food, whilst also delivering lunches for school children in need during the summer holidays. The purchase of the commercial freezer will help HITS increase its storage capacity, in turn helping more people year-round.

We depend mainly on donated food for our stocks, and occasionally we have a large amount of fresh food donated that we are not able to distribute before it spoils.

The large catering freezer has been fantastic and is already proving very useful by enabling us to store more fresh food than before so that we can distribute it more efficiently.

This pandemic has stretched our support a great deal. We run on a voluntary basis and so, donations of this kind are truly wonderful. On behalf of everyone, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Wales & West Utilities.

David Cox, Councillor for Teignmouth West & HITS Trustee 

Homeless In Teignbridge Support (HITS) is predominantly a foodbank providing food parcels and bags to people in the catchment area of Teignbridge, running from Teignmouth and Dawlish on the south Devon coast, to Newton Abbot to Mortonhampstead in the middle of Dartmoor.

Homeless in Teignbridge Support works with homeless people and those in crisis and need in the community.

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.