ORGANISERS behind the first foodbank in Monmouthshire are appealing to shoppers to donate items ahead of its opening next month.

The Abergavenny initiative which gives food parcels to those who have no other means of getting food, will be the 16th such operation in Wales and the fifth in Gwent.

It will be run by volunteers from the Cornerstone Evangelical Church, which is based at Deri View Primary School and distributed from its offices at Central Chambers, Lion Street.

The initiative works by exchanging food vouchers given to clients by local agencies for parcels containing dried and tinned foods, which are designed to last three days.

Among those the food bank helps are people who have lost their jobs, had delays in receiving benefits or left abusive relationships.

During the weekend the charity is inviting shoppers to donate items from a list distributed by the charity’s volunteers at Tesco in Frogmore Street as they leave the store.

In particular packets of food, milk, coffee, tea, tinned vegetables and fruits, cereals, pasta, rice, baby food and toothpaste are needed.

Abergavenny co-ordinator Sarah Langton said: "We need to collect 1.5 tonnes of food before we can really get going- and we’re currently just over half way to the target thanks to collection boxes in local churches, a primary school and a solicitor’s office."

The food bank is overseen by the Trussell Trust, which runs more than 50 food banks across the UK, including ones in Blackwood, Risca and Ebbw Vale.

Shoppers can donate items between 9am and 7pm on April 27 and April 28.