A fundraising campaign was launched at the start of December to raise money for 8 food projects in the Arfon area of Gwynedd.
The appeal has been launched by Siân Gwenllian MS and Hywel Williams MP who represent the area in the Senedd and Westminster respectively. It is being set up at the end of a year that has seen a dramatic increase in foodbank usage. According to Trussell Trust, almost three million emergency food parcels were given to people facing financial difficulty between April 2022 and March 2023, more than double distributed in the same period five years ago, and a 37% increase compared to last year.
The original target was set at £1,000, but has been increased after the original sum was passed. This isn’t the first year the politicians have held a Christmas fundraiser, and last year their campaign raised £4,765 towards foodbanks dotted around the constituency.
Speaking of the appeal, Siân Gwenllian said:
“The appeal this year comes at an especially pertinent time, when only recently a foodbank in Coed Mawr in my constituency spoke of rising costs and increased demand.
“The support shown last year was overwhelming. I’m pretty sure the target we first set for ourselves was £500, but it kept rising and rising.
“We hope we can emulate some of that success this year, and provide food projects right across the constituency with essential funding.
“The fact that most of the food projects included in this fundraising campaign have been set up since the start of the pandemic shows how precarious people’s financial situation was, and how families are often just about surviving.”
The projects who will benefit from the appeal are Arfon Foodbank, Caernarfon, Coed Mawr Foodbank, Bwyd i Bawb Bangor Fareshare, Yr Orsaf’s Food Scheme, Penygroes, Porthi Dre, Caernarfon, Pantri Pesda, Bethesda, Cwm-y-glo and Llanrug Food Scheme, and Bangor Cathedral Foodbank.
Hywel Williams MP represents the area in Westminster:
“It’s thanks to the generosity of public giving and the time and effort of volunteers that those in need of help are able to keep themselves and their families fed this Christmas.
“The support of the community in Arfon is greatly valued. I know local people will respond with great kindness and generosity to our campaign again this year so that our local food banks do not run low over the festive season.
“If this Government continues attacking the vulnerable, more and more people will become reliant on the generosity of others for help.
“One thing is certain, the people of my constituency are ready and willing to do their bit.”
Siân Gwenllian added:
“I’m glad that Plaid Cymru nationally is at the forefront of the battle against food poverty, in securing universal free school meals to all primary school children by 2024.
“There is a lot of work yet to be done, but I hope this campaign will play a small part in that effort.”
Those who wish to contribute should follow this link.