“MY phone is going all the time, pinging with donations.”

Pembrokeshire’s help for a food bank during the coronavirus outbreak has been “amazing,” one charity boss has said.

Just last week, Patch boss Tracy Olin had to issue an appeal for help from the community, and since then the response has been fantastic.

Patch has been able to benefit from the lockdown, with many shops and restaurants giving away leftover food they cannot use to help the community.

And it’s not just food donations the community has been helping with, Tracy said: “We have had a bigger amount of donations than ever before.

“My phone is going all the time, pinging with donations. My phone goes every time people give money to us – but we need to be able to buy food now.

“At Christmas time we see an increase in giving but this is even better than that.”

Tracy added: “The biggest issue is that we can’t buy lots of food because we come under the same restrictions as everyone else, so that’s been quite difficult.

“I ordered £400 worth of food from Tesco last week but it was more expensive stuff than normal because everything had sold out and I couldn’t get all of it because of the restrictions.”

Last week Patch gave out the equivalent of between 750 and 1,000 meals a day as part of food parcels.

Patch had started to quieten down on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Tracy said but was concerned it might pick up again after people who are self-employed and those going on to universal credit start to feel the effects of the lockdown.

To simplify things during the outbreak, Patch decided to temporarily close its Tenby and Begelly locations - focusing on the busiest spots, and will only be accepting food, toiletries, cleaning products and money.

Tracy said she was disappointed they were having to break some of their rules.

“Our policy normally is that we let people have a choice [in what food get] but it has to be made ready for them because we need to limit contact as much as possible - unless there is a dietary reason,” she said.

Tracy praised the people of Pembrokeshire for their support during the crisis.

“We are seeing so many good people doing their best for us and the community, it is incredible.

“That’s the people in Pembrokeshire, coming from a city I never saw that.

“All these groups that have set up to help people and get things like medicines for people - it’s amazing.”

Patch is also offering support for pet owners, with food available no questions asked.

Tracy’s biggest “thank you” went to her coworkers.

“They work so hard, they are amazing. Always the biggest ‘thank you’ to them.”