MORE than 2,000 food items were donated to help struggling families in Newport this Christmas, through an appeal run by the city’s bus company.

Newport Transport’s Driving Away Hunger appeal triggered a huge response, with staff, passengers, and other organisations making generous donations of long-life tinned and packaged food.

Launched on December 2, the appeal saw items handed in at the bus depot on Corporation Road, at the Newport Bus Travel Centre, and The Newsagent at Newport Market.

The food has gone to the Raven House Trust, a city-based charity which aims to help families who are living below the breadline. Established in 1992, the trust has seen the number of people in need of food parcels in Newport more than double from 2,291 during 2012, to 5,561 from January-November this year – and this does not include the 1,158 Christmas parcels that are sent out in December.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of Newport Transport and everyone who made a donation to this food drive. It is such an amazing help to the families and individuals we support,” said Margaret Smith, from the Raven House Trust.

“It is very impressive to witness the generosity of the people of Newport, which becomes evident by seeing the amount of food donated. Many of the families and individuals we support find themselves temporarily in a position where they are not able to provide for themselves or their families. Christmas can be a difficult time for these people.

“With this donation we are able to help even more families this winter on top of the hundreds of Christmas parcels we’ve sent out in the past few weeks.”

Newport Transport pledged to match and better all donations, and has spent an estimated £1,000 on food items.