A Gorseinon foodbank has received a cheque for £15,000 from money raised by Labour councillors and other donations during lockdown.
The original Gorseinon foodbank had to close during lockdown but a group of six Swansea Labour councillors from five connected wards and other volunteers set up a temporary food hub to fill the void.
The Six – Kelly Roberts (Gorseinon), Jan Curtice and Andrew Stevens (Penyrheol), Will Evans (Kingsbridge), Christine Richards (Lower Loughor), Robert Smith (Upper Loughor) – each donated funds from their community budgets to a St Catherine’s Church ‘Food with Friends’ fund.
There were also plenty of other donations including from Gorseinon and Llwchwr Town Councils, as well as other local businesses around the area.
Alongside the dedicated volunteers, the Rev Adrian Morgan and donors, much-needed food and supplies was distributed to families in the area.
The emergency Foodhub ran from March 16th to October 1st and in that time it sent out around 1,500 food parcels to families in the area.
But from October 1st the temporary food hub handed back over to the Gorseinon Foodbank and also handed over the £15,000 cheque.
“When it was announced that the country was going into lockdown on March 16th, Gorseinon, Penyrheol, Kingsbridge and Loughor County Councillors got together with the Local Area Coordinator, Rev Adrian Morgan of St Catherine’s Church, and local Gorseinon resident Lucy Williams to discuss a coordinated local response,” the six councillors said in a statement.
“The local Gorseinon Foodbank had to close temporarily as a result of the pandemic. To counter this, we set up a temporary Foodhub at St Catherine’s Church in Gorseinon with the local community group Food with Friends.
“As we had been supported beyond expectations we had a significant amount of money left over, and it is only right to donate this back to the Foodbank, as this is where the money would have been directed had they been open.
“We are also pleased that we have handed over a fully-stocked foodbank.”
The statement added: “This would not have been possible without the selfless volunteers who kept it running each week, especially a group of local residents – ‘Gorseinon and Llwchwr: On the Wall’ – who drove around the area collecting donations from people who wanted to donate but were isolating. The community will never forget what they have done for them.”
Dave Ward, Manager of Swansea Foodbank: “I am grateful to Food with Friends for the generous support received this week. There is no doubt that we work best when we work together, when we help and support each other.
“We really appreciate the friendship and support of those involved with Food with Friends, and in particular for the generosity they have shown us this week.”
Rev Adrian Morgan of Catherine’s Church: “St Catherine’s was pleased to provide a space for the Foodhub and we are delighted to be able to continue to work with the Foodbank to help lighten the load of anyone who is struggling.”
The foodbank is open 10-12pm every Thursday, St Catherine’s Church.
CAPTION: L-R Cllr Andrew Stevens, Cllr Jan Curtice, Cllr Kelly Roberts, Cllr Will Evans, Dave Ward, Cllr Robert Smith and Cllr Christine Richards.