TEN people were fed in the first 20 minutes of Newport Foodbank opening the doors from its new site yesterday.

The Newport Foodbank had for many years operated its warehouse and distribution centre from a room inside the Christchurch Centre, in Malpas.

But a rise in the number of users meant it needed bigger premises and now the food bank has relocated to take over the ground floor of a Citizens Advice-owned building, on Corn Street in heart of the city centre.

“We have seen an increase in the number of people using us,” said manager, Jon Slocombe.

"Being able to feed 10 people in such a short time shows we are in demand."

South Wales Argus:

(Jon Slocombe outside the foodbank)

“It is a sad state that we have moved to a bigger place to supply the increase in demand for our food bank," said Mr Slocombe.

“We have moved the warehousing here because it is more accessible for users and it is bigger. As a foodbank we also signpost users to other agents who can help too—including Citizens Advice and others.

“The other reason for moving here is to grow our partnerships. One of these is with Citizens Advice.

He added: “We still use the Christchurch Centre on a Thursday."

South Wales Argus:

(Volunteers at work)


The new hub is manned by more than 20 volunteers across three days - Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - from 12 noon to 2pm.

Mr Slocombe explained that when users arrive at the site, they receive parcels comprising of a variety of food items inside. The parcels, on average, should provide enough food for three to four days.

“Everybody gets the same selection of food,” he said.

“Depending on how many people are on the food allocation form will determine how much food is needed by that user."

He added: “People rely on what we do.

"It is very sad that people still need a foodbank in the 21st century."

The last statistics from the food bank showed that from April to September 2018 the foodbank handed out 1,969 food parcels, compared to 1,439 in the same period in 2017.