An independent foodbank in the Amman Valley wants your help to deal with the huge spike in families using the service.

GCG Foodbank, situated at GCG Community Centre, opened 17 months ago and has seen a massive increase in residents using the facility since the introduction of Universal Credit in December.

“We have seen a big increase in people using the foodbank. since December,” said Karen Kirby.

“It got busy during the lead up to Christmas and it is still busy now post-Christmas.

“We want people to know that Foodbank’s are not just for people on benefits.

“Debt is so easy to get into these days. It is a real eye-opener volunteering here.”

The Foodbank is looking for donations of non-perishable items including tinned food, UHT milk, toiletries and tea and coffee.

Residents do not need any vouchers to receive items from this foodbank.

As well as looking for donations, the foodbank is also in need of volunteers.

“Currently we are team of around five people,” added Karen.

“Some people don’t even know we are here, so we need volunteers to help us spread the word that we can help.

“You can volunteer at the foodbank itself, for two hours a week, but we are also looking for people to help us with the fundraising and admin side.”

As well as the foodbank, there is a library and a primary mental health team at the centre which organise coffee mornings and offer wellbeing discussions.

Sonia Reynolds, County Councillor for Gwaun Cae Gurwen, said: “There has been a very definite increase at foodbanks across the community since the introduction of Universal Credit in December. “Universal Credit has added additional weight on the area on top of rent, food and transport costs.

“People who work in full time jobs are struggling.

“We are hoping to create a link between the foodbank at GCG Community Centre and the Fairshare fresh food service at Canolfan Maerdy.

“In Canolfan Maerdy, there is a daily food hub with fresh food from local supermarkets and donations are picked up by volunteers daily.

“A new Community Transport Project has been set up and we are trying to find a way of transporting people from GCG Foodbank to Canolfan Maerdy to get their fresh produce.

“I am really pleased that Neath Port Talbot have managed to maintain the Welfare Rights Team as it is needed in the area.”

The Foodbank at Gwaun Cae Gurwen Community Centre is open from 10am until 12noon every Friday.

For more, visit GCG Foodbank on Facebook or bring your donations to GCG Library.

If you would like to get in touch with the Foodbank, you can visit the GCG Foodbank Facebook page or bring your donations to GCG Library.