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Charities say food support is vital in cost of living crisis

Groups and charities working to combat food poverty in Swansea say grants are proving vital in helping them to keep people fed during the cost of living crisis.

food help ymca

Sixty five organisations secured funding from the latest round of the Direct Food Support Grant which is funded by Welsh Government and administered by Swansea Council.

Successful applications came from projects across Swansea providing a range of support from food banks, cooking lessons, hot food provision, community cafes, breakfast and lunch clubs as well as fruit picking and distribution.

YMCA Swansea supports some of the most vulnerable young people in and around the city and its four main project areas are young carers, LGBTQ+ young people, a music provision and an open access youth club with outreach elements.

A spokesperson said: "We have been fortunate to once again receive a grant from Swansea Council to provide food for our youth groups.

"This will enable us to provide a variety of meals and refreshments to young people; some of whom state that this is the only hot meal they receive all week whilst others have told us that it's the only times they don't have to worry about where their food is coming from during the week.

"In addition, we will soon be launching a new Youth Centre and this grant will also enable us to buy equipment for the kitchen area.

"This will mean that we can teach life skills related to food to young people. This will include budgeting, handling food, nutrition and cooking. We are so grateful to Swansea Council for their support which enables us to continue our life-saving and life-changing work."

Another successful applicant was the Swansea Mosque and Islamic Community Centre which has been providing a food bank to the local community for the past nine years.

The Centre is in an area where there is a large population of asylum seekers, refugees and families from low income households.

A spokesman said: "Since we are a charity registered organisation, we rely on donations and grants to run projects such as the food bank.

"We are sadly seeing an increase in demand of the service due to the cost of living crisis and on an average week, we provide food bank packages to around 50 to 70 beneficiaries."

Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Well-being, Alyson Anthony, said the cost of living crisis was having an impact on many people across the city and the council was very grateful to Welsh Government for funding the initiative.

"Many organisations that support families and individuals in Swansea are seeing a huge rise demand for food poverty support," she added.

"When you are on a limited budget it's more expensive trying to live day to day - just one example is that you might not have the money to go and do a supermarket shop where prices tend to be cheaper.

"Swansea Council is doing what it can to help families and individuals in need and the Direct Food Support Grant is one way that we are able to support those who need it most."

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