Welcome to the third of our 12 Christmas Blogs that will lead you through the festivities up to the 2nd of January. We will be looking at lots of different subjects including coping with the stresses of Christmas, recipe ideas, debt, savings and New Year’s resolutions. So come back each day to see what topic we’ll be discussing.
Where to find foodbanks in Wales and how you can help this Christmas
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year filled with family, presents and food galore. Yet for many families across the festive period, it can be a time of great struggle. Whether that’s complicated relationships with family members, not having the funds to buy presents, or not having the money to put dinner on the table.
At FamilyPoint we will be covering how to cope with the stresses and strains on our mental health and our finances in other posts in our 12 Blogs Of Christmas. But today we shall look at foodbanks.
What are foodbanks and who uses them?
Foodbanks are charitable organisations that give out food to those that are at risk of hunger.
It’s an error to think that only people on benefits use foodbanks. They are open to everyone and help anyone in need. Any one of us could find ourselves in food crisis if we were to lose our jobs, get sick or have an unexpected crisis hit. Not many of us have huge savings. The reality is that many of us could find ourselves at the foodbank after a couple of months if the crisis continued.
I was recently at the opening of the foodbank in Grangetown. I got talking to someone from Cardiff Foodbank. They told me the tale of how this successful businessman had come to them in desperation, as due to a few personal problems, he was left penniless. He had nothing in the fridge to eat and no money in his account to buy any. They gave him a food parcel and he returned a few weeks later with bags and bags of food. Foodbanks are truly for anyone in need.
Where are foodbanks?
The Trussell Trust has a comprehensive guide to foodbanks across Wales and the UK. Yet it’s also worth keeping an eye out for community noticeboards. These may have information on small scale foodbanks, often set up by churches or community groups. Also contact your local Family Information Service (FIS) or Communities First to find out what’s available.
How can I help?
If you have any spare food and wish to donate then please make the time to do so. Again please use the Trussell Trust website. Alternatively see if your local school, church or homeless shelter is accepting donations. Every item donated can help bring hope to someone feeling vulnerable, isolated and in crisis. Foodbanks ask for Christmas donations at this time of year such as puddings, chocolates, and biscuits, as well as the usual items. If you want to know what to donate – imagine how you would make up Christmas meals from packets, cartons and tins and donate those items. Alternatively if you have some time to spare over the festive period, you could also consider volunteering. Again contact your local foodbank for available opportunities.
Are you in crisis and need emergency financial help?
If you’ve hit a crisis and your health is at risk because you can’t afford to eat or heat your home, then you may be able to get assistance with the Discretionary Assistance Fund. Call them to see if you are eligible.
- Call 0800 859 5924 free from a landline or apply online.
- You can also contact the National Debt Helpline – 0808 808 4000.
Join us each day until 2nd January for more of our 12 Christmas Blogs
Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Do you need advice or support on family matters? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. We are open over the festive period, even on Christmas Day.
- Phone: 0300 222 57 57
- Text: 07860 052 905
- Instant message (see below)