Food Bank Britain: Each week End Hunger Fast is shining a spotlight on individual food banks, talking to some of the selfless volunteers who are working hard to compete with the explosion in demand.
Poverty is on the rise in North Wales. Since its launch in May 2012 Flintshire Foodbank has provided 7000 food parcels from eight locations in the county and in the last nine months local people have donated 44,000 kilograms of food.
Such statistics show that the demand is there and growing but in an area which has a substantial rural population the organisers realise they need to do more and this means taking the food to the people. As a result they have recently started mobile foodbanks which takes the food parcels out into the community for people who would have otherwise have had to walk miles into the nearest town.
The Trussel Trust supported foodbanks in Flintshire operate from eight locations with Mould as the regional centre. Originally set up by an independent church in Mould, they receive referrals from various community groups such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, local family centre as well as the local police. They receive food from the public but are also supported by local supermarkets.
The Rev Stuart Elliot, who covers two local parishes, Llanasa and Ffynnongroyw, explained that, “Here we have multiple problems with poverty, people can’t afford to put fuel in their car so can’t get to their nearest supermarket. To get to their nearest foodbank they may have to walk 10 miles which is why taking the food to people has worked well”.
When asked how these people managed before 2012 he thought that some might have scavenged through supermarket bins, something that supermarkets have now made more difficult. He also pointed out that foodbanks were originally set up to help asylum seekers. Now it would seem, they are providing food for hungry British people.
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