Bwyd i Bawb Bangor has seen a steady increase in users since its inception in 2018
Siân Gwenllian MS helped out amidst a growth in usage of such schemes as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
The MS represents the Arfon constituency in Senedd Cymru, and her office in the city of Bangor is home to Bwyd i Bawb Bangor FoodShare.
The project is one of nearly 9,500 charities and community groups operating in the UK wherby good quality surplus produce is distributed by volunteers to local people.
Bangor’s FareShare initiative, located at Plaid Cymru’s office at 70 Bangor High Street is organised by the party’s councillors and volunteers in the city and distributes food on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.
The project, set up nearly 5 years ago in the Spring of 2018, doesn’t require a referral or any documentation in order for people to receive food.
The service faced a surge in users during the pandemic as local people faced tough economic times. It is believed that the amount of FareShare projects located in the north of Wales alone went from approximately three before lockdown to around 40 following Covid-19.
Siân Gwenllian gave an account of her morning volunteering with the project:
“From early in the morning a queue started to form in prepartion for the sharing of the food at 10 a.m.
“Bangor’s Plaid Cymru Mayor Cllr Gwynant Roberts, and I sorted the surplus food given by supermarkets and then proceeded to distribute the food to the tens of people and families who had been in the queue outside the office.
Many of the users have been regular visitors since the start of the project in 2018. But volunteers reported of seeing many new faces as people face further economic hardship.
“Many of the families using the service have children of all ages.
“The work done by these groups across Wales is testament to a strong feeling of community spirit and humanitarian solidarity. It’s also an indication that we’re moving in the right direction in terms of living more sustainably and reducing food waste.
“Nevertheless, the very existence of food schemes as a means of feeding families is an indictment of years of cruel cuts and a neoliberal agenda that have made families across Wales poorer.
“Since being elected for the first time in 2016, countless projects such as this one have been set up across the constituency.
“These initiatives are a reflection of the alarming situation we find ourselves in, but I would like to express my gratitude to the Bwyd i Bawb Bangor selfless volunteers who carry out this sort of work in our communities day-in-day-out. I extend my gratitude to other volunteers doing similar invaluable work in communities across Arfon.”