St Thomas’ food bank delivers more than tonne of supplies in two weeks
A food bank in Swansea has delivered more than a tonne of supplies to people in need during the past two weeks and is also making sure every child entitled to free school meals in its area is getting fed.
Usually the food bank in St Thomas Church opens two hours a week but since the Coronavirus pandemic hit it is operating between 8am and 3pm every weekday and providing out-of-hours assistance where possible.
The group of hard working volunteers has been boosted by staff from Swansea Council who are now based there.
They are delivering food to people of all ages who are either having to self-isolate or are struggling to make ends meet.
They have also worked with the council and schools in the Cefn Hengoed cluster area to ensure that 840 children who usually have free school meals are provided with a food parcel each week.
Rev’d Steve Bunting, who as well as being the parish vicar is a governor at St Thomas and Danygraig primary schools, said: “Talking with the headteachers not all pupils were collecting the meals daily so on Monday we delivered 820 bags of food to 540 homes across the cluster.
“As well as that we have supplied more than a tonne of food to others in the last two weeks.
“Some of the stories have been heart-breaking but we are responding where we can.
“I’m very grateful to the staff from the council’s social services who have been working with us.
“We have also had the use of three vans thanks to local businesses – it’s been a real team effort.
“I’d also like to thank those that have offered to volunteer but we have had to limit it to a relatively small team made up of church volunteers and council staff because of social distancing and to ensure everyone is DBS checked.”
Cllr Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Resilience & Strategic Collaboration, who is chair of the governors at Danygraig and is also a governor at St Thomas, said: “During these difficult times many people need additional support more than ever.
“This would not have been possible without the help of Steve and the foodbank and our brilliant headteachers – Russ Dwyer, at St Thomas, Stuart Davies at Danygraig and our cluster head at Cefn Hengoed Carl Bale.
“I’m so proud at the way our community has rallied together to support each other and I’m extremely grateful to all involved in the food bank for rising to the challenge.”