Community spirit comparable with that during wartime

11th March 2021

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, communities have sprung into action. Neighbours are connecting and looking out for each other, including the community in Kirby Lonsdale.

Many people have been struggling to make ends meet, including people who may never have needed help before. In May 2020, volunteers set up The Community Cupboard to provide donated and surplus food to residents in Kirkby Lonsdale and the surrounding areas.

“The Community Cupboard has been an absolute lifesaver in these hard times. The time the volunteers are putting into this to help our community is fantastic,” said one local resident who has benefited.

£5,000 from Cumbria COVID-19 Response Fund  covered the cost of getting the group up and running and contributed towards food, white goods, PPE and volunteer training. The Community Cupboard is located in the Lunesdale Sports Centre, off Kendal Road.

“It meant we had the funds in place to buy provisions, equipment and made a huge difference to what we have been able to achieve,” said Samantha Millar, Secretary of The Community Cupboard.

“We are now working with an incredible army of over 40 volunteers, who are helping to run the weekly FoodClub, and the recently introduced twice weekly Community Lunches and family meals. Through all these initiatives we are currently supporting over 150 households.”

The food has been largely sourced from local shops, which in turn is supporting the bakery, butchers and grocers, as well as the zero-waste shop in town.

The support has meant people have not had to worry about where they’ll get their food. “With the extra disposable income, one mum has been able to buy her children school uniforms and another family has been able to buy a football kit. Our service just means simply one less bill to worry about,” said Samantha.

“Our oldest recipient of The Cupboard said that he hadn’t felt this much community spirit since war time. We are determined to keep those connections thriving post pandemic and help everyone feel included and valued.”