Archdiocese of Cardiff gives out over £100,000 in emergency food vouchers this Christmas

The Archdiocese of Cardiff has launched a new food voucher scheme providing digital supermarket vouchers to those most in need across South Wales and Herefordshire. The Archbishop’s Food Voucher Scheme has been launched in response to increasing food poverty caused as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click Here to view the Archbishop’s Food Voucher Scheme Information Leaflet

The Archdiocese of Cardiff is making digital supermarket vouchers available to parishes and schools in the run up to Christmas and beyond. With many of the charity’s foodbanks struggling to cope with local demand, exacerbated by the need to socially distance, the ability to send vouchers electronically will prove a major advantage.

Building on existing work being undertaken in parishes and schools, the scheme will work alongside other efforts across the diocese to relieve food poverty. Trussell Trust food banks in Wales have recently reported a 21% increase in use between April-September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. This trend is predicted to increase over the winter months. The Archbishop’s Food Voucher Scheme will provide a practical response to increased pressure on food banks and other food provision services.

Responding to the award, Archbishop George Stack said ‘We can all agree that no one should suffer from food poverty at any time, perhaps especially during this “Season of Plenty” as the advertisers remind us. We in the Archdiocese of Cardiff are only too well aware that this Christmas is going to be a particularly difficult time for many families this year. In this regard, it is our privilege to be able to support those in need with the generous help provided by Barclays and our many other supporters’.

He added ‘Those who serve their community are often called “unsung heroes”. It is my hope that our volunteers who have done so much to support others at this time appreciate that collectively they are undertaking an “heroic” effort combating the effects of the pandemic. I want to thank all volunteers, known and unknown, for everything they are doing in support of others’.

Vouchers can be sent digitally, posted or given in person (in line with government COVID-19 safety guidelines) to those who need them. This support will enable those who are struggling as a result of COVID-19 to buy necessities for themselves and their families.

Initial feedback has shown that the scheme will make significant difference in communities in the run up to Christmas. Individuals and families face additional pressures during Advent, many have lost jobs or have seen their income reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On hearing about the new scheme, Louise Robinson, headteacher at St David’s RC Primary School in Newport, noted that this would ‘be a lifeline to many families’.

Roy Mayo, Project Manager, said ‘the response from Catholic Churches and Schools to the scheme has been amazing. Their commitment to helping those in need in their communities during this crisis is clear. Our new emergency voucher scheme will provide them with another tool to offer practical support, quickly and safely. We are pleased to be sending out over £100,000 to provide urgently needed relief, and hope to build this scheme to help as many people as possible.’

Nadine Salter, Project Intern, added ‘the work already being done in Parishes and Schools to provide urgent food poverty relief is incredible. We hope the roll out of the emergency voucher scheme will aid this work, providing further support during such a difficult time’. If you would like to support this work, you can donate to the Archbishop’s Christmas Fund here.

To learn more about the scheme or to apply for funding click here to email Roy Mayo

To read more about the good work that the Archdiocese of Cardiff is doing in your community click here.

We would like to thank our funders who have made this project possible.