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Thank you retailers, says foodbank leader

A key figure in a Swansea foodbank has praised the way local shops have helped during the coronavirus crisis.

CockettFB

Wayne Erasmus, of the Cockett Foodbank, said the operation was indebted to donations.

He said: "Historically we've been fortunate with an agency called Neighbourly who help us get end-of-day surplus from M&S, Lidl and Aldi.

"Morrisons have come on board too - and they've been exceptional in the way they've handled this.

"We've also got long-standing relationships with the Co-op and Sainsbury's - we can't fault them."

Swansea Council has been supporting the food banks with supplies to ensure that they are able to cope with the increased demand, and has set up four food distribution sites in community centres across the city.

The Cockett Foodbank was launched six years ago and has been a registered charity since 2016.

It is one of a network of community foodbanks across Swansea helping to support families in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Erasmus said: "It's a real team effort here and I can't thank our volunteers and supporters enough.

"We had a core of volunteers before the emergency and since then our numbers have increased with new people from different backgrounds - it's really helped bring the community together.

"To cover the coronavirus crisis we've set up five days a week here in Waunarlwydd Community Centre and we're here for emergencies over the weekends.

"In normal times we operate in different locations, including the community centre, on different days of the week.

"Usually we help anybody suffering any type of food poverty, be it due to issues with mental health, substance abuse or losing work - and the current crisis has seen many more people without work so we help them along with our usual recipients.

"Since the crisis began our work has increased big time."

Alyson Pugh, Swansea Council cabinet member for better communities, said: "It's been amazing how everybody has pulled together on this.

"People from right around the area have helped by doing whatever they can, including sorting the food and driving for the foodbank.

"I can't thank them enough for coming together and bringing the community together. Everybody involved is showing they're here for Swansea."

  • The Cockett Foodbank is open from Monday to Friday 10am-noon at Waunarlwydd Community Centre, in Victoria Road, Waunarlwydd, and for emergencies at weekends. You can drop donations during opening hours. For further information phone 07866 271605.

Picture: Cockett Foodbank supporters and volunteers.

 

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