A NEWPORT foodbank is now full to bursting thanks to a month-long appeal we launched to help some of the most vulnerable people across the city.

More than 200 kilograms of food was delivered to the Malpas-based foodbank Christchurch Centre this week, after residents, businesses and Argus staff came together to pitch in for the cause.

Foodbank manager Jon Slocombe said the campaign has provided an invaluable boost to the Trussell Trust-run site, based at the BT Compound in Malpas Road, at a time when it is usually critically low on supplies.

“Firstly I would like to thank the Argus and its appeal,” he said.

“It definitely led to much-needed publicity and encouraged people to make donations.

“Normally at this time of year the donations slow-down but that has not happened. And that is brilliant.

“We are now very well stocked with food.”

Mr Slocombe added the foodbank has also recently set up a JustGiving page, where people can help out in the long-term.

“At the moment we have plenty of food,” he added. “And we need to use this stock before accepting more because it will go off. But who knows what could happen in a few months’ time.

“That is why we have set up a JustGiving page, where people can make a donation to help the foodbank keep going in the future.

“Making a donation will allow us to top up short stocked items when required.”

The appeal was launched last month after a worrying increase in the number of people turning to the centre for help.

Statistics showed 472 food parcels had been given out to 1,162 people from September to December 2016, with this rising to 501 parcels for 1,338 people last year.

Within days of the launch donations began to mount up.

Among the city organisations who got involved were Horton’s Coffee House, Newport Cathedral, Baneswell Social Club, Barnabas Arts House, The Wood Store, PureGym and Lettings agents Luscombe and Co. who all acted as drop-off locations for donations.

Gavin Horton, who is the owner of Horton’s Coffee House, called it a “no brainer” to get involved.

He said: “The great thing about the campaign was how easy it made it for people to donate. People could go to lots of locations to take items. The easier you make it the more likely they will help.”

He added: “We will always be here to support the community.”

The owner of Baneswell Social Club, Nick Portman, meanwhile, said it was an “honour” to support the campaign.

“A lot of our regulars and members of staff donated food to help those who needed it,” he said.

“We are more than just a club, we are a club with a heart.”

And the dean of Newport Cathedral said he was equally pleased that the appeal had been such a success.

“The people of Newport should be pleased with themselves that the centre is now full,” said Lister Tonge.

“In fact I am that pleased with our contribution that I will look to see how we can continue to support the centre throughout the year.”

Barnabus House Janet Martin said: “It is a shame that we have foodbanks.

“But we must support them because they do a lot of good work.”

Argus editor Nicole Garnon said it had been an incredible effort for just a short amount of time.

“Christchurch Centre does an excellent job in helping people most in need,” she said.

“I would like to thank organisations and the public for supporting our appeal.

“It was a great team effort by everyone at the Argus too.”

The Argus’ managing director, Hussain Bayoomi, said he was “pleased to know” that the donations would be going to society’s most vulnerable.

“I am pleased that the donations will go to help people who need food,” he added.

“But this year we need to do more to help those in need.

“People should not be forced to choose between eating or heating.”

If you would like to make a donation to Christchurch Centre, click here.