Flintshire Foodbanks are feeling the strain of the cost-of-living crisis with demand up 47% in the past year. Yet volunteers are determined to ensure there is some festive cheer with 500 hampers being prepared for hard-pressed families this Christmas.
The rising demand was one of the issues touched upon when Plaid Cymru regional MS Llyr Gruffydd visited Tesco in Holywell to meet Flintshire Foodbank coordinator Stacey Adams and volunteer Jim Rough.
Mr Gruffydd said: “The work done by volunteers at foodbanks such as Flintshire is phenomenal. It’s providing a really essential service for so many people and, while it’s a terrible indictment on the state we’re in, it’s also good to see so many people willing to donate food, donate funds and of course help with the voluntary work. During the short time we were with the volunteers in Tesco, many people were donating goods.
“One extra help this Christmas, which can be a difficult time if you’re struggling to make ends meet with children, will be 500 hampers with some little extras such as mince pies, Christmas pudding and a selection box.”
Foodbank worker Stacey Adams said: “The demand on the Foodbank is growing each year. Last year, 11,000 people were helped in Flintshire nine different centres across the county and this year we’re expecting it to be higher.
“The Foodbank is self-funding through grants and donations but this year we’re finding that we need to buy our own food to help people get through a crisis with a three-day supply of food. The Foodbank is running down on baked beans and other basics so every little donation in a supermarket or directly to us helps enormously. Referrals come through Citizens’ Advice, schools, GPs and care professionals so the support is targeted.”
The Foodbank operates from a centre near Theatr Clwyd in Mold and has been operating now for 12 years.