WREXHAM Foodbank has made its 1000th home delivery since the pandemic began and is encouraging people in need to seek help.

In April 2020 the food bank started offering home delivery of its food parcels to help those that were unable to leave home due to Covid isolation to collect.

Staff from Rhosddu Carpets stepped in to deliver the parcels and then once they returned to work, members of the public came forward to volunteer to drive, as well as staff from Unicorn Travel.

Since April 1 last year the food bank has given out more than 2500 food parcels, feeding just over 6000 people.

This week marked the 1000th home delivery.

Food bank staff quickly realised that the home delivery option was also beneficial to those who would otherwise struggle to attend a distribution centre, such as single parents and those with mental health issues such as anxiety.

Five of the nine food bank centres have remained open for parcel collection too. Project manager Sally Ellinson said “For the last eight years we have encouraged people to come to our food bank centres to collect their parcels as we don’t just hand out food but our trained volunteers welcome, befriend and signpost people to further help.

"Visitors receive a listening ear, refreshments, extra items such as toiletries, fuel vouchers, budgeting advice and household cleaning products. However, at the moment we are sadly having to limit our service so that visitors collect their food parcel from the doorway.

"We look forward to when we can operate fully again and we would like people to come if they need to, but we will keep the delivery service as an option as it means we can help more people who otherwise wouldn’t receive it.

"We can also adapt the parcels as they are going straight out from the warehouse, such as diabetic, halal and vegan options, and adding baby food.”

Referrals to the foodbank come from 175 different organisations and charities in Wrexham such as schools, health visitors, social workers, housing officers, work coaches, community agents, mental health team, the council and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The main reason for a referral is low income.

Other reasons include waiting for benefit payments, debt, sickness and fleeing domestic violence.

Sally Ellinson is keen for people to seek a referral if they are in need.

“Nearly everyone that comes to the food bank is embarrassed and wishes they didn’t have to be there," she said.

"They apologise and say they don’t want to take food off of people that deserve it more – but our warehouse is very well stocked thanks to the generosity of the public and supermarket surplus, we have more than enough.

"Please, if you are struggling to feed yourself and your family, if you are choosing between heating and eating, then get in touch.

"There is no need to struggle, there is so much help available.

"The fact that the main reason for referrals is low income, whether that is through a wage or benefits, shows clearly that payments just aren’t enough.

"Whilst it’s great to see that over 20 new food provision projects have been set up in Wrexham over the last year to help distribute food to those in need, this isn’t the answer.

"Emergency food parcels deal with an immediate need, but they are a sticking plaster. Everybody deserves the right to the dignity of going to a supermarket and being able to choose and buy their own food.

"Our aim is to live in a UK where there is no need for foodbanks, we campaign continually, please join us in asking the government to see that benefit payments and low income salaries are not enough for people to live on in a dignified way and with their help this can change.”

To find out more visit: www.wrexham.foodbank.org.uk

Some helpful phone numbers:

  • Wrexham Foodbank 07538 547971
  • Citizen’s Advice National Helpline 0808 208 2138
  • Wrexham Citizen’s Advice Bureau 01978 364639 or 0300 330 1178
  • Community Money Advice 07506 248737
  • Family Information Service 01978 292094
  • Family Support Team 01978 298604
  • Housing Support 01978 292000
  • DASU (formerly Women’s Aid) 01978 310203