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Food bank praised for its support of local residents

DARTMOUTH and District Food Bank’s campaign to beat fuel poverty in the town has brought in donations of almost £3,500 – and money is still coming in.
The announcement comes in the same week that food bank manager Dawn Sheph­erd and her volunteers have received praise for their hard work and dedication to the needy and vulnerable in the town.
The comments also follow further attacks on the food bank by former town and district councillor Brian Boughton in his latest Enquirer email newsletter.
Mr Boughton was a guest at the food bank Christmas lunch but disrupted the festive event with bad behaviour.
Town councillor Tessa de Galleani said: ‘How ungrateful can you be? To behave outrageously and then blame everybody else.
‘If those that do good in the community are constantly undermined and criticised by armchair, disgruntled, sad people, this town will be the poorer for it.
‘I am fed up with this malicious abuse and those that stand on street corners criticising others for the good they are trying to do.
‘A huge amount of effort went into organising that Christmas lunch and the volunteers stepped up to the mark and made the place look fabulous.’
Fellow town councillor Francis Hawke said: ‘Dawn and her team deserve all our support.
‘They did a fabulous job serving lunch for the lonely and vulnerable and should not be criticised by somebody who ought to know better.’
County and district councillor Jonathan Hawkins said: ‘Thanks go to Dawn and all the volunteers for the hard work they put in over the Christmas.
‘They worked tirelessly to put on Christmas lunch and the Dartmouth Players provided free pantomime tickets for families in need.
‘We look forward to the food bank’s continued success in the new year.’
Dawn said: ‘People don’t seem to believe in miracles anymore.
‘Perhaps because their glass of water fails to turn into wine when they wave their hands across it, or they can’t get across the Dart without ferry tickets.
‘But I believe that miracles are happening all around us every day, you just need to know where to look.
‘The food bank is now in its third year and feeding more people than ever, yet we’ve never come close to running out of food.
‘Every week our collection boxes are full of good food, more than we could ever hope for.
‘Through the year we’ve sent out appeals for beds, washers, cookers, furniture, bedding, towels, clothes, cots, prams and much more and have never been let down.
‘Everything our clients have needed and more donated by all of you have been passed on to families whose only other option is usually high interest debt.
‘All our fundraising efforts were well supported with things to sell or raffle, and volunteers always ready to lend a hand.
‘When we said families were struggling with fuel poverty we hoped for a few hundred pounds to keep the lights on in Dartmouth and the villages. To date, our appeal stands at £3,270 and it’s still coming in.
‘It was lovely this year to deliver Christmas toys and hampers to families and see children playing in houses without their coats on because their parents have been able to heat their homes.

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