OVER 5,000 Wrexham people including nearly 2,000 children have required the help of a foodbank in the last year.

The figures come as Wrexham Foodbank officially opened their new warehouse and office space at the Puleston Industrial Estate.

A total of 2,474 food parcels have been provided to local people in crisis over the last 12 months, feeding 5,471 people, including 1,839 children.

People are referred by organisations, charities, council departments, and other professionals such as health visitors, teachers and social workers. Reasons for needing a parcel range from delayed wages or benefits, ill health, low income, debt, and domestic violence.

The warehouse is open on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-3pm for members of the public to bring their donations for volunteers to sort. Over the last 12 months the people of Wrexham have given 44,767kg of food and toiletries to the Foodbank which is run completely on these donations.

The Leader:

Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Rob Walsh and Ian Lucas MP joined volunteers and trustees to officially open the new warehouse

Ian Lucas MP, who attended the opening alongside the Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Rob Walsh, said: “It’s obviously upsetting that we have to devise a system that provides food in the way that we have, and we need to have a better way of dealing with people who are desperately in need of food, rather than relying on the generosity of donators and volunteers.

“However, we are where we are, and it’s essential that those people have the help that they need.

“The volunteers involved in Wrexham Foodbank work tirelessly throughout the year and I can’t praise them highly enough. It was an honour to be invited to officially open their new premises. Thousands of items are donated every year, and this is a reflection of the incredible generosity of the people of Wrexham.

“I will continue to highlight the problems regarding the wait for benefits in Westminster and offer my full support to Wrexham Foodbank and Wrexham’s holiday hunger project.”

Project Manager, Sally Ellinson said: “We wanted to take this opportunity to officially open the warehouse and say thank you to all our supporters. We are very grateful to all those who volunteer and donate.

“As we approach the Christmas season, we also want to let people know which items we would appreciate – these are tinned tomatoes, pasta, UHT milk, tinned vegetables, tinned ham, tinned corned beef, small jars of coffee, tinned rice pudding, Christmas puddings/chocolates and deodorants.”

The Leader:

Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Rob Walsh, Project Manager Sally Ellinson and Ian Lucas MP

Wrexham Foodbank has six distribution centres around the area where those in need can exchange their voucher for a three-day food parcel, they also receive a warm welcome from trained volunteers who offer a listening ear over a cup of tea and signpost them to further help if possible.

The Foodbank also runs a Baby Essentials project providing nappies and partners with the WINGS project in providing ladies sanitary products, and the Holiday Hunger project feeding children during the school holidays. They also run ‘Eat Well Spend Less’ courses in basic cooking and money management skills.

Wrexham Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust network. Chief Executive Emma Revie responded to the recent Spending Review saying: “It’s not inevitable that food bank use will continue to increase – there are steps we can, and must, take as a country. First, our Government must end the five weeks wait for Universal Credit.

“More broadly, if we want our benefits system to be able to offer crucial support, we must also see benefit levels restored to make the cost of living affordable. These are things in our Government’s power to deliver – anchoring us all from the rising tide of poverty must be a priority.”

The Leader: