A new community pantry has opened in Bridgend County Borough to support residents who may be struggling to get weekly groceries.

The pantry at Bryntirion and Laleston Community Centre, Mount Pleasant, opened at the end of April and offers people the chance to buy food at reduced cost.

The project, which is organised by Bridgend County Borough Council’s Rural Development team and delivered by Eclipse Wales Services with support from Welsh Government, has made pantries available across the county borough and there is no means-testing so anyone in the community can use them.

Food is supplied by charity FareShare Cymru, which works to reduce waste by redistributing produce that would otherwise be sent to landfill, for example, as a result of supermarket packaging errors. The food is all fresh and within use by dates.

At the pantries in Pencoed, Brackla and Bettws, pre-packed bags of food are available to buy while the branch in Maesteg delivers pre-packed bags of food. Other pantries offer residents the chance to select their own items.

Those using the service are also given recipes to encourage them to cook from scratch, as well as information about community services and budgeting.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “It’s great to see these community pantries being set up across Bridgend County Borough to support local people who are struggling.

“The newest pantry at Bryntirion and Laleston Community Centre, which has received support towards its refurbishment from the council’s community development fund, offers reduced priced produce to help ensure that no resident goes hungry.

“This fantastic community service helps to stop edible food from being wasted and ending up in landfill with residents using them for a variety of reasons such as difficulty accessing shops, reduced income, disability, environmental awareness and more.”

The pantries are available at:

  • Bryntirion – Bryntirion Community Centre, Mount Pleasant, on Thursdays at 10.30am to 2.30pm
  • Aberkenfig – Community Church, Pandy Road, on Fridays at 10am to 12noon
  • Bettws – Tanio, Sardis Media Centre, Heol Dewi Sant, on Thursdays at 2pm to 4pm
  • Blaengarw – William Trigg Community Centre, Dan y Mynydd, Heol William Trigg, on Thursdays at 10am to 12noon
  • Brackla – Brackla Meadow Family Centre, 3-4 Clos Y Waun, on Thursdays at 2pm to 4pm
  • Bryncethin – Bryncethin Community Centre, Ogmore Terrace, on Thursdays at 2pm to 4pm
  • Cefn Cribwr – Green Hall Community Hub, on Tuesdays (from 25 May) at 2pm to 4pm
  • Lewistown – TRA House, 11 Pentre Beili Terrace, on Wednesdays at 3.30pm to 5pm
  • Maesteg – Special Families, Fairfield Centre, St David’s Place, delivery only on Fridays
  • Nantymoel – The Mem, Waun Wen Terrace, on Thursdays at 11am to 1pm
  • Pencoed – Pencoed Miners Welfare Hall, Heol Y Groes, on Thursdays at 2pm to 4pm
  • Porthcawl – Veteran’s Hub, Eastern Promenade (Griffin Park), on Wednesdays at 11am to 1pm

When coronavirus restrictions allow, the project plans to open Community Wellbeing Cafes at as many of the venues as possible to encourage social interaction and signpost residents to other services that can help them such as debt counselling, employment assistance, tenancy support and more.

For more information about the community pantries, call 07544 026265.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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