Owen Smith volunteers at National Foodbank Collection Day

Owen Smith MP helped out on Friday at Tesco’s National Food Collection day at Upper Boat.

The MP joined Pontypridd Foodbank to collect donations as part of Tesco and the Trussell Trust’s national day to support those in need.

During the collection, Owen Smith encouraged customers to pick up an extra item of food from the selected shopping list and donate it at the end of their shop. Tesco then topped up all donations by 30%.

Mr Smith spent the afternoon with volunteers at Tesco Upper Boat, collecting donations and sorting the food ready for the local Foodbank to supply to those in need. The event also gave the Ponty MP an opportunity to speak to local shoppers and listen to their concerns about the current cost of living crisis, and the growing demand for foodbanks nationally.

Pontypridd Foodbank, based in St Luke’s Church, Rhydyfelin, provides three days of emergency food to individuals and families in crisis locally. Frontline care professionals including doctors and social workers refer people who are facing hunger to the foodbank. People visiting the foodbank are welcomed, listened to and signposted to agencies who are able to help resolve the underlying cause of the problem.

It was reported this year that 913,138 adults and children had received three days’ emergency food and support from Trussell Trust food banks– that’s a rise of 163% on the number who were helped in the previous financial year.

Commenting, Owen Smith said:

“I am proud to support this important cause, local foodbanks, like this one at St Luke’s in Rhydyfelin, are a lifeline for people under deep financial pressure. The current Tory/Lib Dem Government is completely out of touch with ordinary families and has failed to acknowledge the reason why people are relying on local foodbanks now more than ever.

“With the cost of food rising and further increases in energy bills, as well as changes to the benefits system, the need for food parcels is constantly growing.

“While the Tories and Lib Dems have cut taxes for those at the very top, the 913,138 families across Britain forced to rely on food banks just to eat are finding life more and more difficult under this cruel government.”