CHEPSTOW’S foodbank has helped feed around 1,500 people since it first opened 18 months ago – and is currently helping out an average of 60 people every month.
Figures compiled for national foodbank charity Trussell Trust, show that during one of the busier months, a total of 139 people were fed from Chepstow’s resources in March, up from 23 people in December.
For the first quarter of 2013, the foodbank helped feed 339 people and so far, in 2014, it has fed 330 people. Of these 107 were children.
The foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust, is facilitated by Chepstow Churches Together and was first opened in the town in December 2012.
It currently has three donation spots including Chepstow Baptist Church, the town council offices and the Bridge Church in Bulwark.
Sarah Coleman, co-ordinator for Chepstow Foodbank, said: “The majority of people who come to us are single people between 25 and 64. We are here to support people in a crisis, as a short-term solution.
“We expect the summer months to be much quieter than Christmas as higher fuel bills meant families had to choose between heating their homes and food.”
She added: “Lots more people than you think need help in Chepstow – low income and poverty is not a stereotypical image of the town. Everyone has been so generous donating food.”
Across the UK 913,138 people used foodbanks in 2013-2014, according to the charity. People in Chepstow are usually referred to the foodbank by the job centre or citizens’ advice. The foodbank is open on Mondays from 10am-1pm at The town council offices, High Street, on Wednesdays from 10am-1pm at the Bridge Church, on Bulwark Industrial Estate, and on Fridays from midday-2pm at Chepstow Baptist Church on Lower Church Street. Visit www.chepstow.foodbank.org.uk