South West Wales

Swansea food bank 'inundated' after stock appeal

Volunteers sort through the supplies donated to Eastside Food Bank Image copyright Eastside Food Bank
Image caption Volunteers sort through the supplies donated to Eastside food bank

A Swansea food bank which ran out of supplies has seen a "10-fold" rise in donations following an appeal.

Volunteers who run Eastside food bank at Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Bonymaen, had made an urgent plea last week to help restock it.

Numbers using it had risen, with volunteers believing this was down to the end of the school year and no free dinners for children.

Rev Chris Lewis said it had received "hundreds" of donations.

About 10 people usually use the Eastside food bank.

Charity the Trussell Trust said school holidays in 2016 saw a 10% increase in people using its food banks.

Basics such as dried pasta and toiletries ran out at Eastside for the first time since it opened in 2013.

Image copyright Eastside Food Bank
Image caption Supplies of tinned food had run low before the appeal

Donations have been flooding in since the appeal was issued, with enough supplies handed in to see the food bank through the summer.

They include food and toiletries donated by staff at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board hospitals.

People attending the 20th anniversary screening of Twin Town in Swansea were also asked to make a donation to the cause.

Rev Lewis said the food bank received £1,000-worth of food in the chapel alone as well as financial contributions.

Image copyright AMBU
Image caption Lee Trundle (third from right) with MP Carolyn Harris (fourth right) and Morriston Hospital nurse director Nicola Williams (second left) at the Morriston Hospital collection

"It's a complete reversal of the situation last week. We have been inundated with donations," he said.

"Not only have we collected enough to keep us going but we're also going to be able to help some of our partner agencies and other food banks in the Swansea East constituency.

"If we had not put the shout out, we would have been empty by today.

"The response has been astounding, words fail me. Thank you to each and every person who donated."

Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris had called the situation "desperate", saying it was down to "families struggling with children on holiday".

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