A group of local volunteers have come together to provide a Food Bank service for Wexford town and environs.
'Feed Wexford' hopes to address the needs of individuals and families that are suffering from various levels of food deprivation, with Wexford recognised as one of the top two regions in Ireland for this issue.
Feed Wexford, which is a project undertaken by Wexford Christian Community Church, was successful in an application to the Department of Social Protection which oversees the 'Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived' (FEAD).
The group is connected to the 'Feed Cork' food bank and the intention is to create a nationwide network where all branches will work under the title of 'Feed Ireland'.
Food is freely supplied to the group under the FEAD programme. These supplies will subsequently be distributed to those in need.
Project Coordinator Susan Wright explained that each month, local logistics company Roche Freight will collect stocks of food from Dublin and bring it to their store room in Westpoint Business Park.
Collections will also take place weekly from LIDL and further supplies of food are expected from ALDI and Tesco through Food Cloud.
'We're only the second such group in the country and we're working hard to get the word out about this service.'
This Wednesday, the Food Bank will open to the public for the first time from 1 to 3.30 p.m. and will do so every subsequent Wednesday at the same time. Food baskets will be made up to suit various family sizes and Ms Wright said that everyone would be treated with dignity and respect.
She stressed that there was no need for people to feel embarrassed about seeking help, pointing out that the costs of living meant that even those who were working found it hard to make ends meet.
'We are aware that Wexford is high on the list for food poverty and we expect that once the word gets out this will be a busy location.
'Things are tough for people and it's good to be able to help and to make a difference in people's lives. We're lucky to have great volunteers because it wouldn't be possible without them.'
Anyone interested in volunteering with the group or businesses willing to donate can contact Susan on 087 623 7894 or through the Feed Wexford Food Bank Facebook page.