A NEW food shelf is giving residents of Hennock, as well as those living in neighbouring settlements, an additional means of easing the financial strain of their food shop as prices, especially that of food, continue to climb.

Nestled at the bottom of Hazel Crest, just inside the steps, the Hennock Food Shelf is a community-led initiative offering a helping hand to those in need.

Spearheaded by one Rosie Scott, with the support of the team from Chudleigh-based group, Acts Of Kindness, the shelf was launched in early November and is wholly relient on donations from the public.

‘I am part of the Acts of Kindness group thats run in Chudleigh and it started from there.

‘The lady that runs that, Laura, set one up in Chudleigh and then another friend of mine set one up in Heathfield, which she sadly had to close.

‘Where I am in Hennock, our closest supermarket is either in Chudleigh or the Co-op at Trago Mills.

‘I know many people in Hennock probably don’t need it as such but if you find, especially with the winter coming, you have run out of bread or potatoes or anything like that - the shelf is there’ Rosie said.

Unfortuantly, the Heathfield-based food shelf was short lived, as the shelf would be cleared out, sometimes in the middle of night, and would not to be replenished.

The philosophy underpinning the Hennock Food Shelf, as with many other schemes of a similar style, is one of taking what one needs and leaving what one can.

However as Rosie’s friend in Heathfield soon discovered, this understanding is not always respected - something Rosie experienced also.

‘The shelf seems to be being used but not replenished, I have had donations which is absolutely amazing and I am really grateful for it but it is looking a bit low at the moment.

‘I can’t keep going and buying £30, £40 worth of food to keep it stocked - I can’t do it all myself.

‘I am hoping with time it does, it does sort of, feed itself basically’ Rosie said.

The newly opened food shelf, which was donated by Laura and her father, who built the first few shelves, has been warmly received by the people living in Hennock, the earliest known record of which is in the Doomsday Book as Hanoch, although some sources say Hainoc.

Among those singing the schemes praises is Hennock Parish Council.

Chairman of the council, Charlie Fisher, said: ‘Hennock Parish Council was pleased to hear about this new initiative that supports the rural community in Hennock and thanks those who were involved in setting it up.

‘We would encourage residents to follow its ethos of take what you need and donate what you can.’