A REPRESENTATIVE of the Queen in Somerset paid a visit to the West Somerset Food Cupboard to meet volunteers and see its important work first-hand. 

Jennifer Duke, the High Sheriff of Somerset, visited the charity during a Tuesday afternoon local pantry session.

The food cupboard is based at the Parish Church of St Michael the Archangel in Alcombe, Minehead.

Jennifer was able to meet the people who work tirelessly to prepare and stock the pantry with fresh, chilled, frozen, and non-perishable food that would otherwise be wasted. 

The volunteers then help pantry members collect their produce for a weekly fee of £3.50.

The West Somerset Food Cupboard is supported by generous local allotment growers and producers from Porlock, Dunster and Minehead. 

It also receives donations from the Good Vibe Veg project in Horner, plus local village shops and supermarkets in the area. 

Ali Sanderson, project co-ordinator at the West Somerset Food Cupboard, said: “We really enjoyed meeting Jennifer and discussing how we can work together.

“It’s important people are aware they can obtain our food parcels through local agencies such as the West Somerset Advice Bureau, Village Agents and Home-Start West Somerset and many more, at the same time as receiving their specialist support.

“The West Somerset Food Cupboard charity is actively exploring its response to the inevitable increase in demand due to the cost of living crisis.”

Somerset County Gazette: Jennifer Duke, the High Sheriff of Somerset, visits the West Somerset Food Cupboard. Picture: West Somerset Food CupboardJennifer Duke, the High Sheriff of Somerset, visits the West Somerset Food Cupboard. Picture: West Somerset Food Cupboard (Image: West Somerset Food Cupboard)

Key objectives from Jennifer's role are to promote Somerset produce and focus on the issue of child food poverty. 

After her visit, she said: “I found the visit very helpful in understanding how the West Somerset Food Cupboard is alleviating food poverty and supporting families in finding ways to become more resilient.  

“They are also addressing the problem of food waste, and ensuring they are ready to support local families as we move into a challenging winter with an energy crisis and period of high inflation.

“All of this will be extremely painful for our communities.”

For more information about the charity and accessing its services, visit www.wsfoodcupboard.org.uk