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Heritage donation benefits Welsh communities

Credit: Cadw

Coronavirus has closed Wales’s historic sites but this week, Cadw has donated food supplies from its castles, abbeys and monuments to help communities across the country.

With provisions taken from 24 heritage sites, Cadw has donated more than 1,000 food items to public services across Wales — including food banks, community charities, homelessness centres and local school hubs, which are still operating to support the children of key workers.

Delivered in Cardiff, Rhyl, Barmouth, Pembrokeshire, Cwmbran and Pontypool, Cadw’s donation boxes comprise a selection of luxury food including: fudge, Welsh cakes, bara brith, biscuits, jams, chutneys and Easter Eggs — all packaged up to ensure that Cadw incurs no food waste during this time of increased need.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Wales’s food banks have been subject to unparalleled strain — with rationing reported as a necessity last month, amid stockpiling and reduced donations.

Transported by site custodians and a local delivery partner, Ginger Exhibitions, Cadw has made deliveries to several food banks this week — including The King’s Storehouse in Rhyl, The Hope Centre in Pontypool and The South Gwynedd Food Bank in Harlech.

Sarah Jones, co-ordinator for The King’s Storehouse said: “We have been overwhelmed by requests for food parcels over the last three weeks, especially from families with children at home. We helped 84 families last week and we are busy this week too — so the donation from Cadw is very welcome. The chocolate will make a particularly big difference — as for many people, it will be a treat that they cannot afford.”

With deliveries also made to homelessness charities and care centres for older people, it’s hoped that Cadw’s donations will help to relieve the pressure on Wales’s food banks and non-profit community hubs alike — which are all working tirelessly to provide for people in need.

Meanwhile, the donations made to local school hubs — including the Little Darlings Nursery and Llantarnam Community Primary School in Cwmbran — will help to support the children of key workers, which are being educated and cared-for there for the foreseeable future. Donations offered to the schools will help to provide for children on the ‘free school meals’ programme, all while supporting the families of key workers as a whole.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “Cadw’s network of visitors, members, employees and stakeholders form the foundation of Wales’s historic sites — with the support of these communities helping us to conserve, maintain and care for our collection of 130 heritage properties, year upon year.

“So, during this time of national emergency, we felt it was important to give something back — and we hope it makes a difference, however small.

“Donating all unused food stock is Cadw’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to the communities which help us every single day, but also our population of key workers, who are sacrificing everything to support Wales during this very difficult time.”

Cadw will continue to donate luxury food across the weekend, delivering chocolate eggs just in time for families hoping to celebrate the Easter Bank Holiday.