Posted: Sat 2nd Apr 2016

Foodbanks Receive Helping Hand From The Council /
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Apr 2nd, 2016

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has donated £20,000 and a “green” electric van to support the work of foodbanks in Rhondda Cynon Taf. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Representatives from the Trusell Trust along with Rhondda, Merthyr and Cynon, Taf Ely and Pontypridd foodbanks attended a meeting with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Morgan and Deputy Leader, Cllr Keiron Montague, where they were presented with the donations. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Each of the foodbanks in RCT are part of the Trussell Trust network and operate as an independent charity. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In 2014/15, 7,722 emergency food parcels were given out to people in RCT who were referred to one of the four foodbanks and year on year demand is increasing driven by static incomes and rising living costs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “In November 2015, the Deputy Leader and I invited representatives of the Trussell Trust and the four foodbanks operating within RCT to meet with us and receive a donation and to discuss the challenges they face on a daily basis. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It was clear that collecting enough food is not necessarily the main issue, thanks to the generosity of people, but rather it is the ability to develop provision and co-ordinate effectively across the four foodbanks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Council’s donation of £20k will allow the foodbanks to employ someone with a specific responsibility for development of new projects such as ‘More than Food’ and effective co-ordination of resources promoting even closer working between the foodbanks.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Montague added: “The four foodbanks operating in RCT do a great job in providing a service which is unfortunately well used in our communities, not only through the provision of food but also via the support offered by the many volunteers involved with the foodbanks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“One of the issues raised when we first met with representatives from the foodbanks was that the logistics of collecting food donations can be a challenge due to a lack of access to vehicles. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By providing a van for shared use across the four foodbanks in RCT, we hope to alleviate this problem as well as allowing them to share resources and stock on a more consistent basis.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A representative of the Trussell Trust, added: “Having worked closely with Cllr Morgan and his team at the Council in recent months we at the Trussell Trust are delighted to be developing our ‘More than Food’ programme across RCT. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It is vitally important that the reasons people are forced to use foodbanks are addressed in an effort to bring down the numbers who go hungry each year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are grateful for the Council’s desire to collaborate with charitable organisations such as the Trussell Trust and to seek creative ways of using scarce resources to help the most vulnerable across RCT.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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