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Foodbank founder: We're providing a vital service - non-stop

Supporters of a Swansea foodbank that launched shortly after Christmas had little idea how vital their service would soon become.

FoodbankBirchgrove

However, as the pandemic struck, Birchgrove Community Foodbank has risen to the new challenge.

Foodbank founder Juliet Rees said: "We started in January - and once the pandemic struck we became non-stop.

"We're getting bags together, collecting donations, handing out bags and delivering them to those self-isolating.

"We feed those in need and - with the help of all our volunteers - give support to as many people as we possibly can."

As well as Birchgrove, the service has helped people in areas such as Trallwn, Winch Wen, Bonymaen, Llansamlet, Clydach, Mayhill and Townhill.

Juliet said: "I thank everybody for their support and donations whether it's food, time or money.

"I thank Morrisons, which has been fantastic, and the Birchgrove CK's Supermarket which has a basket for donations - the staff and customers there have been amazing."

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

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

Alyson Pugh, a Swansea Council cabinet member for better communities, said: "Birchgrove Community Foodbank was doing a fine job before the pandemic - and has now stepped up through the gears in admirable fashion.

"It's a new service so they've really been thrown in at the deep end! Those involved, including the volunteers, have risen to the challenge. They've even provided drinks to Morriston Hospital staff.

"People across our communities are in need of support from foodbanks are appreciative of the important support they're offering right now.

"Foodbank organisers, volunteers, supporters and donors are here for Swansea."

The Birchgrove Community Foodbank is based at Birchgrove Community Centre, in Lon Gwesyn, Birchgrove, and is open for donations and deliveries on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon-2pm.

It operates on a referral system and vouchers are available from social workers, schools, local area coordinators, PCSOs, councillors and community partners.

To reflect needs brought on by the pandemic it's providing support at other times too.

For further information contact the foodbank - phone 07936 035419, email bcf0103@gmail.com - or find them on Facebook @birchgrovecommunityfoodbank.

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