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Swansea groups can apply now for food poverty grants

Charities, volunteer and community groups tackling food poverty in Swansea can now apply for grants from the council to support their work.

Last year more than 40 organisations received financial backing totalling £155,000 from the Food Poverty Fund and the first round of this year’s awards is now open.

In the past funding has been secured for a variety of schemes from community gardens growing fresh produce to groups providing crisis support for people in urgent need of a meal.

Others work with families and individuals to give them the skills to prepare healthy and nutritious meals on a budget while some groups have been helped with volunteer training and costs or transport.

Zac’s Place run by the Exousia Trust invested in new equipment including freezers and an oven which meant a more efficient kitchen and allowed volunteers to provide more than 1,000 meals from its base on George Street during the lockdown in February and March.

EYST has supported around 40 refugee and asylum seeking families with food vouchers.

Clydach Community Garden built raised growing areas in a community garden at Craigfelen School and the school has partnered with The Sharing Table (May’s launch event pictured) who run cookery sessions to give pupils and their families the full plot to plate experience.

Headteacher Alison Williams said: “This means we are able to offer pupils a fun way to learn about food, acquire some cookery skills and sample inexpensive, healthy meals.”

Applications for the first round of this year’s funding need to be submitted by August 4 and if sufficient funds are available, there will be a second round of funding which will close on September 30.

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, Cllr Alyson Pugh, said: “This funding will support charitable, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations to assist many more people facing food poverty by strengthening community food initiatives and helping them address the root causes of food poverty.

“We welcome applications for capital or revenue funding that address issues relating to food poverty including enhancing crisis food provision, developing cooking and nutrition skills and community food growing projects and spaces.

“I have been amazed by the great work and wonderful ideas so many organisations have developed to tackle food poverty and I would urge groups that could benefit to apply for this assistance.”