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Denbighshire's foodbanks helped thousands in 2013

Published date: 27 December 2013 |
Published by: Kirstie Dolphin
Read more articles by Kirstie Dolphin


 

DESPITE people starting to feel the pinch during Christmas, communities have joined together to help the hundreds of the county’s poorest.

A box of food with beans, tea and some soap can be a lifeline to people not just during this expensive season but throughout the year.

The Government was criticised last week after it rejected a potential £22 million from the European Union to help fund food banks in Britain.

But residents in Denbighshire have shown their kind spirit with three food banks run by volunteers now open in the county.

Matt’s Foodbank opened in Llangollen this March and was named in memory of Matt Price, the former manager of St Collen’s Community Hall, who wanted to create a food bank in the town.

Brian Smith, who runs the foodbank with his wife Pat and volunteers, said: “We had about 20 people come in last week which is the most we’ve had in a week.

“I imagine it will increase during Christmas and at the end of the month as families have to spread themselves for their children.

“The majority of people who come in are homeless but it varies.

“AM Ken Skates has been great and the Co-operative in the town has been a blessing, they have a food bin for us and it’s our main source of food.”

Foodbanks support people who have a voucher from frontline services including doctors, support workers, schools etc.

Brian added: “We do need more food donations and items like soap or toothpaste, things people may not think of as we have had to dip into church funds.”

Denbigh Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust, opened last October and has been renamed the Vale of Clwyd Foodbank after a satallite foodbank opened in Ruthin in April.

Trustee of Vale of Clwyd Foodbank, Lowri Smith said: “Benefit delays, benefit changes and an increase in benefit sanctions account for many of the clients are referred to the foodbank.

“However we are also seeing an increasing number of foodbank clients are in work.
They are being forced to seek the help of the foodbank due to the increase in the cost of living. Support for the foodbank from the local community has been vital.The foodbank is staffed entirely by volunteers .

“On behalf of Vale of Clwyd Foodbank (previously Denbigh Foodbank) I wish to thank all those who donated at our Tesco collection in early December.”

Ruthin and Prestatyn Tesco collected three tonnes of food this month for the foodbank, which will feed about 350 people.

Tesco also donated 30 per cent of the collection’s value in credit for the foodbank to use.

Nigel Thomas, volunteer supervisor in Denbigh, said: “We help people in a crisis, people on low income with an unexpected bill or if someone’s benefits change for any reason.

“Tesco and organisations around the town have been brilliant, we have about 35 food boxes around the area.

“The Tesco collection should last us for about three to four months, but it depends if we have a cold winter, some people must choose between food and heating.”

Denbigh Foodbank has helped thousands since it opened and the Ruthin Foodbank has helped feed 246 people including 76 children since April.

Robert Owen-Ellis, team leader in Ruthin said: “People have been very generous.

“Some people may think there is no need for a foodbank in this area but if you scratch below the surface, there is.

“It is a difficult time of year but people give in Christmas spirit.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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