Residents of Llantwit Major and the wider community recently attended the official launch of a new More Than Food Hub, under the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Llantwit Food Project Partnership led by Food Vale.
The launch, which was a joint launch with Age Connects’ new office at Illtud House, took place across the CF61 Community Centre and Illtud House in Llantwit Major on Thursday 20 October.
The More Than Food Hub will take place on the third Thursday of every month, 12:30 – 2:30 alongside the Chatty Café.
Residents are able to access many services, including help, advice and support on a range of topics, access to cooking demonstrations and more at the monthly More Than Food Hub.
The existing FoodShare at CF61 has transitioned to a pantry model where people can pay a small fee to access affordable food. The FoodShare takes place every Thursday 12:30 – 2:00.
The Council’s Llantwit Food Project began in October 2020 with the aim of understanding what the barriers are to accessing good food in Llantwit Major.
Through conversations with local community members and experts, the group has gained a better understanding of what could be done to improve this.
Examples include supporting the existing FoodShare at CF61, setting up a hub to provide advice and piloting a mobile food pantry service.
The project gained funding from The National Lottery’s Community Fund earlier this summer and is now beginning to put these actions into practice.
Earlier this year Age Connects’ office relocated to Illtud House, where Glamorgan Voluntary Services are also based.
Working together with the Council they successfully applied for Welsh Government Connected Communities Loneliness and Social Isolation funding and Welsh Government Age Friendly Communities funding to help older people in the Western Vale feel happier, healthier and less lonely by connecting them with their community, support services and social activities.
The grant supported the conversion of the new office and a small grants scheme for community groups to apply to for projects supporting older people. Age Connects has a number of services operating from the office.
Year 2 of the small grants scheme provided via the Welsh Government Connected Communities scheme and managed by GVS was launched on 21st October allowing community groups and organisations the opportunity to submit bids for up to £2,000 revenue to tackle loneliness and isolation.
Deadline for bids to be submitted to GVS is 12 noon on Friday 18th November 2022. Application forms are available by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Eddie Williams, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health said: “I’m pleased that we’re able to develop much needed services such as the Llantwit Major More Than Food Hub. Access to affordable, healthy and nutritious food is one of the core principles underpinning Food Vale’s work.
“The cost-of-living crisis is currently affecting many families and individuals throughout the Vale and there are some fantastic groups and organisations that are working hard to alleviate the stresses associated with it.”
Paul Warren, Operations Manager at Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS):
“Throughout the pandemic and beyond, Llantwit Foodshare demonstrated the power, resilience and creativity of a united community to provide an essential service, and the More Than Food initiative is something GVS are incredibly proud to support and be a key partner of.”
“The fact that people in our community may not have enough food to put on their plates should be everybody’s concern. The good news is that we can all play a part in doing something about it. More Than Food will make a vital contribution towards ensuring that our essential service continues to reduce food poverty and increase food security in the Western Vale.”
Teresa Power, Transition and Developmental Change Manager at Age Connects Cardiff and Vale:
“Age Connects are delighted to be working with so many organisations helping the residents of Llantwit Major and surrounding areas”
Fiona Kinghorn, Executive Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board:
“It’s great to see the hard work from all the partners behind this project being put into action. It is so important that everybody has access to the support they need, particularly when it comes to access to affordable and nutritious food, and especially during these challenging times”
For more information about the Llantwit Food Project, please visit the webpage.