CLWYD South AM Ken Skates is confident he can get a foodbank up and running to help the most vulnerable people in his constituency.
Mr Skates recently met Andrew Sturgess from the Trussell Trust, the national charity which operates the community projects throughout Britain, and Ruabon businessman David Jones to discuss opening a branch to serve the Dee Valley.
Mr Skates said: “It was a really positive meeting and we are making rapid progress, it’s really encouraging. There is still work to be done, but I am hopeful we can get the Clwyd South Foodbank open for business within the next few months.”
He added: “Sadly, more and more people across Wales are having to rely on foodbanks because of a variety of factors such as rising costs of fuel and energy bills, static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits. Some 13 million people are currently living below the poverty line in the UK and food poverty is rising.
“Trussell Trust foodbanks play a vital role in helping the most vulnerable in our society by providing emergency parcels with enough nutritionally balanced supplies to last three days to those referred by health and social care professionals.”
There are currently has almost 400 Trussell Trust foodbanks in operation nationwide – including in Rhosddu, Mold, Denbigh and Oswestry – and the charity’s goal is for every town to have one.
Mr Skates and Mr Sturgess, a Trussell Trust development officer, identified what they say is ‘an obvious need’ for a presence in Clwyd South, and Mr Jones – a former chairman of Ruabon Community Council – responded to their call for help. It is hoped the foodbank could be based within Plas Madoc Leisure Centre.
Mr Skates added: “I have long been a supporter of the amazing work the Trussell Trust does and would love to help get a centre up and running in Clwyd South. However, the project will need at least a dozen volunteers to get it off the ground, so I would urge anyone who is interested in playing a part to email Ken.Skates@Wales.gov.uk or call my office on 01978 869058.”