Dinas Powys's Foodbank used by over 200 people in first year
1:32pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Penarth news
DINAS POWYS’S foodbank service has been used by over 200 people in its first year.
The service, which was launched at Bethesda Church in September last year, aims to help local individuals and families who are in crisis through the provision of free emergency food supplies.
Susan Lloyd-Selby, the Vale Foodbank Manager, said that the service had proved extremely popular since it was launched across the Vale in 2011.
“We have provided free emergency food to 4,193 local people in crisis of which 1,573 were children under 16,” she said.
“We launched our distribution centre in Dinas Powys a year ago and 205 local people have been supported by the centre, of whom 82 were children under 16
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access our support and in July we launched another distribution centre in Bethel Baptist church, Llantwit Major. The centre is open every Wednesday from 1-2pm.”
She added that a range of factors had caused families to resort to using the foodbank service, where food is given to people in crisis identified by front line care professionals such as health visitors, doctors, social workers, church and community workers.
"Since we launched the foodbank centre in Dinas Powys a year ago, we have seen increasing numbers of local people turning to the foodbank for help,” she said.
“The rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to struggle.
“The foodbank receives no funding and is run entirely by volunteers. Thanks to the generous support of local people, churches and other organisations we are currently able to keep up with the increasing demand but stocks of some essential food, including tinned meat, fish and vegetables, is running low and we would welcome donations."
Vale AM Jane Hutt said that there had been an “alarming increase” in the number of “hidden hungry” across Wales.
“Since the Vale Foodbank was launched it has been heartening to see so many volunteers in the Vale of Glamorgan willing to come forward to help others during these difficult times.
“People in the Vale are being hit hard by the UK Government’s raft of welfare cuts, specifically by changes to crisis loan eligibility rules, delays in payments, Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions and sickness benefit reassessments.
“As a result, there has been an alarming increase in the number of ‘hidden hungry’ right across Wales- which is shocking in this day and age.”
Vale MP Alun Cairns said that there was “a variety of reasons” behind why people were using the foodbank.
“It is sad to hear that so many people are needing to use the Foodbank. This will be for a variety of reasons; inability to manage money and to budget, addiction to alcohol or substance misuse, bullying at home, neglect by the benefit recipient and a range of other reasons. This is why I support the Foodbank initiative to prevent many innocent people being penalised.”
Donations can be taken to the foodbank during opening hours or placed in the Foodbank collection box in the Civic Office, Holton Road, Barry.