National Lottery approves funding for Vale project to improve food access

We are pleased to announce that the Llantwit Major Food Access Project has successfully received funding for its pilot, creating access to affordable, healthy and nutritious food for many communities across the Vale.

Project partners including, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB), Glamorgan Voluntary Services, Food Vale, Vale Council, local schools, Llantwit town council, FareShare Cymru and more, coproduced the application to the Lottery’s People and Places grant back in March.

The application was successfully approved in May, and the proposed action plan will now be implemented to establish the aim: ‘A good meal for everyone, every day.’ Launched in 2005 the National Lottery’s People and Places Grant Programme offers grants between £10,000 and £500,000 to any third sector organisation, community group, public body or social enterprise that apply for funding in support of projects that aim to make positive impacts within communities.

Fiona Kinghorn said, Executive Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale UHB said: “We are so thrilled and grateful to the Lottery’s People and Places Grant Programme for the funding that the project has received. This project will positively impact the lives and wellbeing of many across the Vale, through enabling easy access to healthy food. A good diet is essential for us all to maintain good physical and mental health, as well as reducing our risk of long-term health conditions.

“Many people across our Vale communities struggle to feed themselves and their families, and this has worsened since the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. This project is a strong example of how effective partnership working can be. It is important for us all to pull together to support our communities and tackle food access and affordability challenges together, to ensure everyone has good food each day.”

Amongst local residents, the food access project aims to increase the access to affordable food and wider support, increase the sense of community connectivity, increase understanding of nutrition and cooking skills and create more awareness of support that is available to individuals and families.

A list of actions proposed were based on feedback received from communities and service providers during in-depth engagement phases to achieve these aims. They include:

  • Supporting the development of a food and wellbeing hub at the CF61 Community Centre.
  • Extend food pantries to reach other rural communities
  • Utilise rural transport services to bring people to food
  • Improve communication to increase awareness and foster community spirit

Paul Warren, Operational Manager for Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS), said, “As the operator of Llantwit FoodShare at our CF61 Centre, we know from experience that food poverty is a real issue across the Vale of Glamorgan. We welcome our involvement as a key partner in the project, tackling the issues that impact upon those we are supporting in the community.”

Cllr Bronwen Brooks, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Sustainable Places, said: “I’m delighted that this funding has been secured and I’d like to pass on my appreciation to the Lottery’s People and Places Grant Programme.

“Everyone is entitled to wholesome, nutritious food, which is why promoting healthy eating is a key priority for the Council.

“Sadly, it is not always possible for people to afford healthy produce and that is likely to become more of an issue as the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit hard.

“The Council already operates a Food Pod in Penarth, with the contents available on a ‘pay-as-you-can’ basis, and the Llantwit Major Food Access Project, will offer further help in this area.”

See further information on the advice and support services available here.