Taylor Swift donation enables Cardiff food bank to buy lorry full of supplies

<span>Taylor Swift performing on stage in Cardiff.</span><span>Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management</span>
Taylor Swift performing on stage in Cardiff.Photograph: Shirlaine Forrest/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Taylor Swift has a convoy of at least 50 trucks for her Eras tour, and now her donations to food banks in every UK city in which she performs have enabled one charity to use a lorry of its own.

Thanks to a discreet donation by Swift – the largest donation by an individual that Cardiff Foodbank has ever received – the charity says it has the “breathing space” to try something different.

“We’re going to buy an articulated lorry full of food and other most-needed items to supplement our emergency food parcels,” said Rachel Biggs, the chief executive of the charity, which provided more than 20,000 emergency food parcels to people in need last year, with demand up 8% this year.

“This will provide the weight equivalent to feeding 1,200 people three meals a day, for three days – or 10,800 meals. This will be 2.5 weeks of what we typically distribute,” she said.

“The breathing space Taylor’s donation has given us will enable us to lift our heads and shift our focus from the food bank to the creation of a sustainable operation supporting people who currently need our help with support to address the root cause of poverty and financial support to set them on the path to not needing our aid any more.”

Rich Jones, the chief executive of St Andrew’s Community Network in Liverpool, which runs 11 food banks and offers long-term food support across a network of eight community pantries, said Swift’s surprise donation would fund food donations for the next 12 months.

“It’s the most incredible gift,” he said. “Because of rising prices, rising need and falling donations, we’ve been having to subsidise our food ourselves for a long while.

“But it’s fair to say that Taylor Swift has essentially paid our food bill for 12 months – and that gives us the breathing space to focus on fundraising efforts going forward: to really look at how we can achieve our ambition of ending the need for food banks in the first place through financial advice, income maximisation work, welfare benefits and work.”

Charlotte Moorcroft, also from the charity, said the impact of the donation would be felt across the city – and that the personal support given by the singer had given the whole charity a lift.

“Being able to reduce the burden on the organisation’s infrastructure has been a great relief for us,” she said. “It’ll ease the pressure on us a little bit and make a big difference to the work we’re able to do.

She added: “What was also lovely was that Taylor was keen to impress her support for the work of our team.”

Swift, one of the world’s richest and most powerful women, crossed over into billionaire territory in 2023 thanks to her blockbuster Eras tour. Billboard estimated earlier this month that Swift earned nearly $2bn (£1.57bn) this year through her music, tour and accompanying tour film and merchandise, without accounting for additional revenue synchs and sponsorships.

It is not the first time the singer has donated to food banks. In 2020, she donated to an Ohio charity and in March 2023 she donated to food banks in Arizona and Las Vegas before her Eras tour appearances there.

The star frequently donates the proceeds from various songs to charity. All proceeds from the 2012 song Ronan – named after a little boy with fatal brain cancer – were donated to cancer charities. The 2015 takings from her Welcome to New York song were donated to the city’s schools, and proceeds from her Wildest Dreams video the same year were donated to an animal foundation.

Swift also donated to people during the pandemic, giving $50,000 to a mother of five whose husband had died of Covid.

Several fans revealed the superstar had personally sent donations to those who had revealed online that they were struggling during the lockdowns, and she helped out an aspiring maths student in 2020 with a $30,000 donation to help him study at the University of Warwick.