Prince and Princess of Wales replace items at Swansea food bank after robbery

The Prince and Princess of Wales have offered to replace all the produce stolen from a food bank in Swansea which was robbed over the weekend.

Items set to be donated to those most in need were stolen from St Thomas Church in Swansea. It's the third time an incident like this has happened at the premises.

William and Kate, who visited the food bank in September last year, have since offered to help replenish supplies and support those in need, according to the vicar of the church, Rev Steven Bunting.

The Prince and Princess of Wales visit the food bank in September last year. Credit: PA

"The Prince and Princess of Wales contacted us earlier to offer their love and support," he told ITV News.

Asked if they would be making a donation, Rev Bunting said: "Absolutely. They would like to replace the food that was taken, so yeah, they very much want to do that."

During the last two years, the church has been transformed into a community hub and offers a food bank, facilities for homeless people, and a not-for-profit café and community training kitchen.

Rev Bunting said he's grateful for the support of the local community since the news of the robbery broke.

"It is an awful crime but I think it's symbolic of the desperation people find themselves in in 2023," he said.

"I think nobody wakes up one day and thinks 'do you know what I want to do today? I want to steal from a food bank', and I suppose the challenge for all of us is to ask how has society got to that level of need or desire - what has happened in that person's life that, that's the only option?"

Rev. Bunting said the food bank currently sees between 170-200 people a week.

He continued: "The reality is it's likely to have been someone who has used our services before to know where the food is stored. I don't think it's been opportunistic, I think it's been planned and I think that, that really challenges us on how we can make sure people feel comfortable telling us how desperate they are so that we can support them because that's what we're here for."

Despite the items being stolen, Rev Bunting said he's been "overwhelmed" by people's generosity.

"From within an hour of this news breaking, we've had people turning up with donations, with food.

"We've had the local working men's club, Swansea Dockers Club came up with some money so that we could go shopping straight away to try and restock the food bank, and that's continued over the last 24 hours.

"We've had such generosity. It's been hard to be discouraged when there's been so much love and generosity shown and I think it's easy to focus on negative stuff and I think there's so many kind and good people out there that we've been overwhelmed to be honest."

Rev Bunting said the food bank currently sees between 170-200 people a week and "the demand continually outstrips supply, so we have to go and purchase food often rather then rely on donations which historically it used to be".

"We have had to close before because we've run out of food but never because of the situation we've been in now so I would always encourage people to turn up to a food bank," he said.

"We don't want anybody hungry."

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