According to the Trussell Trust – which runs a network of over 400 foodbanks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis – thirteen million people are currently living below the poverty line across the UK. In the last year 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis across the country.
The second Foodbank to open in Wales was in the Rhondda in 2009. Since then, a number of other Foodbanks have opened across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.
Dave Holland, manager of the Rhondda Foodbank said: “The Foodbank is about much more than providing food – clients have the opportunity to meet volunteers who lend a sympathetic ear and assess any further needs. We also provide information on a whole range of services including signposting to other care agencies; drug and alcohol support and housing homelessness.”
Christine Davies, Corporate Social Responsibility lead at Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “As a public body we want to be thinking about the long-term, working with people to make a positive impact on the environment and in our communities.
“Through our Corporate Social Responsibility programme we’ve been encouraging staff to discuss food poverty issues and make donations to the Foodbank”.
Staff at Cwm Taf have recently made food donations weighing 125 kilos – enough to feed 11 single people or three large families as well as a monetary donation of £50.
Mr Holland went on to say: “I am so grateful to the staff of Cwm Taf University Health Board for allowing me the time to explain how the Foodbank operates and raising awareness of issues that affect people in crisis”.
If you would like to be a volunteer or find out more about the Rhondda Foodbank, please contact Dave Holland on 07928451374 or via [email protected].