Vale's second Foodbank centre launched in Dinas Powys
8:40am Friday 21st September 2012 in News
FOOD PARCEL: (from left) Susan Lloyd-Selby, Cllr Val Hartrey, Mike Grove, Dave Xerri and Jane Hutt AM.
A NEW Vale Foodbank distribution centre has been launched in Dinas Powys.
Vale AM Jane Hutt officially opened the project at the Bethesda Chapel last Wednesday (September 12).
The service will provide packages to individuals and families that are struggling to put food on the table.
The Vale’s first foodbank, in the Coastlands Family Church in Barry, has helped feed more than 1,600 people since it opened in October last year – double the original estimate of 800.
The organisation is run entirely on donations, and by volunteers, and co-ordinator Susan Lloyd-Selby said: "This distribution centre will be serving the whole of the Vale, not just Dinas Powys.
"Part of the aim of Foodbank is to make it as accessible as possible for people when they need it. We recognise that if people are struggling to put food on the table they will also struggle for buses, taxis and petrol to get to a distribution centre."
And she said the first year of working from Barry had taught them a great deal.
"One of the main things that strikes me is that by the time people come to Foodbank, they have exhausted all other possibilities including family and friends, and many of them have taken second jobs to make ends meet," she said.
"By the time they come they are in a very difficult position.
"You see parents that have not eaten for a number of days so their children have been able to eat. Older people come through the door who have worked hard all their lives.
"By the time people come to us they are pretty desperate."
She said the ultimate aim of the Foodbank initiative is to have a distribution centre open every day of the week in the Vale. The service is currently open three times a week, on Mondays and Thursdays at Coastlands and Wednesdays at Bethesda Chapel.
There are also plans for a distribution centre to be open in Barry town centre on a Friday.
"That’s the next plan for early next year," added Susan.
"It’s really important that local people and organisations continue to support us in the way they have been doing in the last 11 months."
Jane Hutt AM, who also launched the inaugural Foodbank last year, said: "I think it’s a very worthwhile initiative that is seriously needed at a time of financial pressures and hardship."
* The Vale foodbank helps local individuals and families in the Vale who are in crisis, through the provision of free emergency food supplies.
* As a registered charity, the Vale foodbank is part of a franchise of 190 foodbanks across the UK.
* Food is seen as a catalyst for change by providing emergency food immediately to meet a crisis situation with some practical help, while care professionals look at longer-term strategies.
* Food is given to people in crisis identified by front line care professionals - Health Visitors, Doctors, Social Workers, Church and Community Workers. The Foodbank has 33 distribution partners in the Vale.
* The foodbank is an initiative of The Trussell Trust, a Christian based organisation, committed to launching life changing, community-based projects.