The first week of a new food scheme run by the member of the Senedd for the Rhondda has seen 300 kgs of food distributed.
In all, 72 parcels of food were delivered by Leanne Wood, her staff members and volunteers as part of a new scheme designed around Covid-19 restrictions. The parcels meant 154 people were fed, of which 53 were children.
Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, Leanne’s office in Porth hosted two or three food collections a week from the summer of 2019 onwards. These collections saw food which had been deemed surplus to requirements by various supermarkets being collected and laid out for people to collect from the office.
With this no longer possible due to the need to maintain social distancing, Leanne opted to implement a delivery service of food packages and appealed for cash donations from the public to fund the purchase of longer lasting food.
So far, the scheme has been a big success with scores of people opting for food parcels and a number of volunteers coming forward to deliver them, including Plaid Cymru councillors.
Leanne said: “It was a shame to have stopped the food collections from my office earlier this year due to Covid-19. We were distributing a lot of food to people who were putting it to good use and saving money on their weekly grocery bill.
“We had no choice but to halt those food collections and it has taken some time and a lot of work to put in place an alternative. Whilst it has been a lot of effort, sitting back and doing nothing was not an option because there is a real need out there for a scheme of this kind.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response from people asking for food parcels and by people coming forward to help whether it be with a donation of money or an offer to help pack and deliver the parcels.
“This scheme is making a real difference to people’s lives and the positive feedback from people having these parcels in the first week has made it all worthwhile.”