HOMELESS people and North Wales residents living in hardship will benefit from free donations of food.
FareShare North Wales will deliver food donations to Rhyl Night Shelter, ARC Communities Ltd, Conwy Foodbank and Dan’s Den, throughout 2013.
FareShare North Wales is run by social enterprise Crest Co-operative. Last year Crest was named Social Enterprise of the Year Wales and was awarded a cash prize of
£1, 000. The funds will be used to help the four community groups.
Tinned and frozen food, turkey crowns, cereal, juice and Easter eggs, are just some of the items that have been delivered to the community groups over the last few weeks. Each community group will receive more than £3, 000 worth of food (retail value) in 2013. The in-date food would otherwise be sent to landfill, due to over orders or damages in packaging. The food is donated by food manufacturers across the UK.
The FareShare North Wales warehouse is located in Llandudno Junction and food is delivered to 33 community groups across North Wales, who pay a membership fee.
Rhyl Night Shelter, which is run by crime reduction charity Nacro, has been operating in the town for 14 years. The shelter provides emergency accommodation for persons aged 18 and over and promotes progress towards settled accommodation and greater independence. The Crescent Road centre is open every day throughout the year and offers breakfast, a meal and a place to sleep at night. From December 21 2012 to March 13 2013, the night shelter filled 619 bed spaces and received requests for help from 61 homeless people.
Service users at Nacro Rhyl Nightshelter
John Jason Hallwood, 52, has been homeless for several years. He said: “When I come to the Nacro Rhyl Night Shelter I get a warm meal and a warm welcome. Food is so important, it’s a basic need. The staff are brilliant. Rhyl Night Shelter is the most positive place on the North Wales coast for homeless people.”
Rhyl Night Shelter service user Wayne Granger, 44, praised the shelter and the work of FareShare North Wales. He said: “The night shelter is a godsend for homeless people. You get breakfast, a meal at night, a cup of tea and a bed. Food shouldn’t be wasted when there are people who need it. We have had Sunday dinners from the FareShare food, with turkey.”
ARC Communities Ltd runs two drop-in facilities for the homeless and people struggling with alcohol problems in Colwyn Bay and Rhyl. Hot meals, refreshments, showers, clothing facilities and support services are provided. The organisation also runs a Street Drinkers Outreach Service in Rhyl.
The free food donations from FareShare North Wales will benefit ARC’s two drop-in centres, in Colwyn Bay and Rhyl. The Colwyn Bay drop in centre serves 20-25 homeless and vulnerable people daily.
Ruth Cole from ARC Communities Ltd, which operates as a Community Benefit Society, said: “From April – December 2012 we registered 57 new participants at the centre and saw over 4942 participants over the threshold.
“In that 9 month period, ARC served a whacking 11, 100 meals to participants in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay, costing in excess of £11, 000. This funding must be raised from fundraising initiatives and donations, such as those provided by Crest Co-operative.”
FareShare North Wales staff and volunteers deliver food to ARC communities LTD.
Non funded, voluntary organisation Conwy Foodbank (formally Conwy Foodshare) works to feed people across the county, who are in crisis and unable to afford food. People may find themselves in financial difficulty for many reasons including family issues, relationship breakdowns, debt and illness. People in crisis are referred to Conwy Foodbank through professional associations. Support workers and organisations, which have referred service users, can collect food parcels from drop off points across Conwy.
Sharon Jones, CEO of Crest Co-operative, said: “We wanted to use the prize money from Crest’s success in the social enterprise awards, to support these vital community services.
“The community groups will receive free food from FareShare North Wales each week. During the year, the food will contribute to meals for hundreds of service users,” she added.
If you are interested in becoming an ARC Communities Member Shareholder, a volunteer or would like to donate food or funding, contact ARC Communities on 01492 535636 or e-mail email@example.com.
To find out more about Conwy Foodbank visit www.conwyfoodbank.co.uk.