People in Swansea are being asked to continue to support the network of foodbanks in the city if they can.
Even though Coronavirus restrictions are being lifted, the pandemic has still caused long-term economic fall-out for many and foodbanks are still seeing a high demand for their services.
Swansea Council continues to work alongside the dedicated volunteers and organisations that help to run them with many based in council community centres.
The HOP Foodbank opened in Sketty Park Community Centre in March 2019 as a small charity mainly covering the Sketty Park, but has expanded to cover a wider area as the need has increased.
Coordinator and Trustee Ann Griffiths said volunteers from all different backgrounds staff the registered charity.
“We aim to involve the local community as much as possible in running it and the public have been supportive, with donations coming from many individuals, churches, schools, community groups and businesses as well as support from Swansea Council in the form of grants.
“During our first year, we just had a few referrals each week, but when the pandemic started our numbers more than quadrupled. This year however, the number of families and individuals needing help is increasing again and over the last three months, we have seen a further rise. This is leaving us with a shortage of food and finance to buy supplies.”
The foodbank provides a standard parcel and a dried foods parcel, which is more suited to those with specific dietary needs.
Each parcel is normally sufficient for five days. The majority of referrals come from statutory and voluntary agencies such as social services, job centres, housing associations and citizens advice, but they also help those who self-refer.
Ann added: “Items that we regularly run short of are tuna, long life milk, orange juice, cereals, jam, egg noodles, rice, tinned potatoes, tinned tomatoes, and tinned fruit – basically non-perishable goods.
“We also give out basic toiletries and household items so always appreciate shampoo, shower gel, laundry gel, toothpaste and toilet rolls.
“We would be really grateful for donations and we are open on Tuesdays 11am to 1pm, Wednesdays 10am to 1pm and Thursdays 1pm to 3:30pm.”
Alyson Pugh, Swansea Council’s Joint Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said: “The HOP Foodbank and all the others in the Swansea network do a terrific job in supporting those in need.
“I know many people are finding it tough at the moment but if people can support the foodbanks then they really will be making donations that will be helping others in Swansea.”
Donations are welcome and details on how to donate are listed on the council’s web page – www.swansea.gov.uk/foodbanks
(Lead image: Swansea Council)
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