Food Bank Makes a Fantastic Impact


Neil, one of the volunteers who grows vegetables in his house and provides to the food bank, Shirley Murphy and Julian. and their son Dylan

When Covid struck, the demand of the food banks increased. Food banks have nowadays become the primary and long-term solution for food scarcity. Traditionally, food banks were started to assist and provide people who were struggling with not being able to provide food to their household. They started out by giving food hampers to people who could not afford to put a meal on the table for their family. They were not something used widely.

However, with the cost-of-living crisis and with the energy bills going up, food banks are becoming more and more a hub where people are going as they are unable to provide for their families. Food prices and energy bills have
skyrocketed, the cost of living has gone up, but wages have not. Many families are now suffering, and their only choice is to reach out to food banks.

We saw the level of need and knew something had to be done, so in April this year my family decided to open an Independent food bank from the garage at the vicarage where we live. Initially we provided items ourselves that we knew would help.

Within a couple of weeks, we had six regular families coming to the food bank which opened every Friday between 10am and 12 noon. As the weeks passed and the cost of living and bills increased, we found that the demand for help increased. I approached Christ Church in Carmarthen which readily gave permission to use the church as a hub for the food bank.

Since August the food bank has been known as Christ Church Food Bank. Operating every Friday between 10am and 12 noon from the Church Hall, it now provides food to more than 40 families a week.

Initially, when the food bank opened, my husband, Julian Murphy, and I ran the project. As the need increased, more help was needed and now there are four wonderful volunteers

Back in April 2022, there were no restrictions on what people could take from the food bank. We were proud of the open system we operated where a referral was not necessary and everyone who came could be helped. It still is an open system whereby anybody in need can approach the food bank but now, due to the demand, we have had to restrict people to 12 items. We do however also provide some additional items such as fresh eggs and bread We also have some home-grown vegetables from Neil, one of our volunteers who donates produce he has grown in his own garden. We also try to address people’s particular requests if we can.

For example, there is a lady who requested pet food. Julian posted all over social media asking for donations for pet food and through that was able to establish the contact for a lady from the RSPCA in Swansea who now regularly helps.

Similarly, there is a mother who needed baby items. We asked for donations and we were able to help her.

Since April we have been seeing more donations at Christ Church Food Bank.and we know that the increased support that is essential could not happen without such generosity and magnanimity.  Each week the food bank receives these donations from the congregation members of Christ Church. There is now a donation box in the church specifically for the food bank.   Besides that, we also have regulars in the community who help by giving donations to help and assist.

We always want more donations as the demand is only increasing. The Food Bank has its own bank account. If you would like to donate and help, please either contact Julian on or me, the Rev Shirley Murphy, on

Donations are always needed, and we are very thankful to all the local schools and churches that gave all their harvest donations to the Food Bank – which has helped greatly. However, as the winter season kicks off and with Christmas just around the corner, Julian envisages the demand is only going to increase.

We are so happy that our little idea of making a difference by starting a food bank has impacted so much on the community.  We both have known what it is to go without food or have very little, so our dream is that some day we can continue to build a food hub, perhaps with a free café where hot food can be provided to all people who are in need.

The Rev Shirley Murphy
Chaplain to the Bishop of St Davids
Assistant DDO
Clerical Secretary
Interfaith Officer of Diocese of St Davids
Home : 01267781970
Mobile : 07946949472

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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