Children in the Rhondda have been fed more than 1800 times by a food parcel service set up by the Rhondda Member of the Senedd.
Working in conjunction with a dedicated group of volunteers, Leanne Wood and her team have been delivering the parcels to homes throughout the Rhondda after Covid-19 restrictions put a stop to food collections from Leanne’s office.
News of the food parcel service’s success comes in the week it was revealed that the charity UNICEF are feeding children in the UK for the first time in their 70 year history. According to Save the Children, an estimated one in three children in Wales are living in poverty.
During a plenary debate on Wednesday, Plaid Cymru tabled a motion to extend free school meals to all families on Universal Credit. However, Labour teamed up with the Tories and the likes of Neil Hamilton and Mark Reckless to oppose the motion.
In the four months that Leanne’s food parcel scheme has been running, children have been fed 1,893 times.
Leanne said: “After the need for social distancing put a stop on the food parcel scheme we ran from my office in Porth, we had to come up with an alternative scheme. The delivery service is more labour intensive and requires more helping hands but it is so worth it.
“Thanks to some amazing volunteers, we have been able to get food parcels out every week over the last four months using a combination of supermarket surplus food and produce bought with donations to the scheme.
“The feedback we have received from people has made all the hard work worthwhile. The Christmas boxes we have been delivering over the last week, with vouchers to use at local butchers, have been going down especially well.
Leanne added: “The scheme began as a means of eliminating food waste as supermarkets would regularly send tonnes of perfectly good produce to landfill every week. The Covid pandemic has increased poverty – the need is greater now.
“I wish a scheme like this was not required but there remains a lot of need within the Rhondda. It is heart breaking to see the desperate situations some families are in. While there is a demand for this type of scheme, I will do what I can to help out.”
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