A COMMUNITY group committed to helping Newport’s homeless and vulnerable is preparing for life after lockdown.

Feed Newport CIC, which was only able to open its foodbank service during the lockdown period, has delivered an astonishing 1,269 meals to vulnerable people since March 15.

It is even more remarkable given they were on the edge of going under in April, before a generous £3,000 donation from Wales football star Aaron Ramsey set them on their way.

“It helped us get on the map and improve our publicity, and we were so grateful,” said coordinator Tariq Khan.

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That publicity helped the group to develop partnerships with supermarkets all over Newport, including Tesco in Spytty and Asda in Pill, as part of the Community Champions team in association with FareShare.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support we’ve received and the food we’ve been given,” Mr Khan said, “I’ve been blown away by the support.”

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The group has gone from strength to strength, and plans are now well under way for a soup kitchen at their premises at Commercial Road, which they hope to launch in September.

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They have also launched a community shop with the surplus foods and items they are receiving, which is open every Thursday from 10am until 2pm.

While the foodbank continues to operate every day as usual (with collections on a Friday), Mr Khan says he has been pleased to see the need for the service drop slightly in recent days.

“The numbers have halved since we’ve come out of lockdown, which is a good thing – possibly because more services are opening and available.

“The spare time now gives us some breathing space to focus on our system. As well as the soup kitchen and shop, we’re focusing our efforts on trying to help low income families develop.

“That means as well as giving them food, we’ll try and help them make nutritious lifestyle choices.”