Students collect a tonne of food and toiletries for Cardiff Foodbank

Overwhelming response to appeal also included a £500 cash donation

A GROUP of Cardiff University students have collected dozens of crates of food and toiletries for Cardiff Foodbank.

The students stood on Salisbury Road, Cathays, on January 23 for five hours to collect around 80 boxes of items, weighing approximately a tonne overall, and also raised over £500 in cash for the foodbank.

They are hoping to make it regular thing, collecting once a month in the same spot, in addition to a ‘grab-and-go’ scheme where people can leave food on their doorsteps to be collected.

Josh Shenstone, 20, was one of the people who organised the collection.

He said: “Having come from a family where my parents always looked after me, it wasn’t always easy to put food on the table but they always managed, I just felt like I’m in a good position now being a student, not really having many overheads, to try and do something.”

The items which the students have collected for Cardiff Foodbank. Photo credit: Josh Shenstone

The students hope to encourage universities in other cities to follow their example and also want to set up a contest between Cardiff University societies to see who can raise the most money or food for the foodbank.

Mr Shenstone said: “I think students get a bit of a bad reputation sometimes. That’s not why we’re doing it, but we’ve got to help out the local community.

“We’re all from different areas of the country, some people are Welsh, some people are English, and we’ve got to try and help Cardiff out a little bit.”

Josh Shenstone (pictured) is one of the students who has been involved in collecting the donations. Photo credit: Josh Shenstone

Cardiff Foodbank typically feeds around 1,000 people per month and is part of the Trussell Trust, which provides emergency food parcels for people to last for three days.

Between April and September 2020, the Trussell Trust Network saw a 47% increase in foodbank usage when compared with the year before.

Mr Shenstone said: “You’ve got all these shelves stocked with food and people are going hungry. Same with the homeless community, you’ve got all these buildings, but they’ve got nowhere to sleep.

“It just baffles me. It’s an ongoing thing, it will never change, but hopefully we can make a slight difference.”