Wrexham’s foodbank is gearing up for a busy Christmas season and we went along to their main warehouse in Rhosddu see how they’re preparing.
From the arrival of donations which all have to be weighed, dated and sorted to distribution once a voucher is issued is a logistical accomplishment that any organisation, voluntary or private would be proud of.
The Foodbank is manned by over 100 dedicated volunteers who all make sure the operation works smoothly and no-one goes short of food once their need has been identified. The organisation is looking at accessing funding to employe a Project Manager and a Warehouse Manager to move the operation forward and ensure it remains as smooth running as it is now.
Donations come from individuals, businesses and the biggest donations come from Tesco, Sainsbury’s Churches, Rotary Clubs and Coleg Cambria.
Cambell Edmonson, Chair of the Trustees of the Foodbank, said: “People in Wrexham are very generous and always step up to our appeals for donations. As Christmas is on its way we will be called upon to help families across Wrexham and we can only do this with their support.”
About 3,500 individuals were helped in the last financial year. 1,500 of them children. Nationally there has been a 10–12% increase in foodbank usage.
And it’s not just families who need help, lots of single people and couples find themselves in need at times, many of whom work in low paid employment.
Why do people have to use a foodbank?
The foodbank is all about helping those in a “crisis”. It isn’t there for the homeless who usually have access to other specialist agencies. It’s there for individuals, couples and families who reach a point where they need a food parcel to get them over three days until their wages or benefits come through.
Do they give a food parcel to anyone?
No-one can just walk in and ask for food. A voucher has to be issued to those who are recognised by a professional, such as a social worker, as being in crisis. That voucher not only allows them access to a food parcel it also gives them lots of useful advice and contacts that will give them help to get them out of crisis and not using the foodbank.
Two of our Lead members also came along on the visit, Cllr Paul Rogers, Lead Member for Youth Services and Anti Poverty and Cllr Joan Lowe, Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care.
Paul said he was “very pleased to be able to visit the Foodbank and to see first hand the hard work that the hard working volunteers put in to ensure families in Wrexham have somewhere they can rely on in times of hardship. I will be supporting this worthwhile charity and I encourage people in Wrexham to give generously as we enter the winter months including the Christmas season which many people worry about due to their financial circumstances.”
Joan explained how she was “humbled by the experience. It’s plain to see that this charity is well run and organised and is a lifeline to many individuals and families in Wrexham. We do have to remember though that in addition to food donations their operation needs money for rent, utilities and insurance and I ask those who can afford to to consider giving financially to the charity.”
Donations can be made of non-perishable food that is in date. They can be taken to foodbank centres around Wrexham and also donated at local supermarkets.
To find out more about Wrexham’s Foodbank and how you may be able to help other than by giving donations why not take a look at their website here.
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