Ogmore Vale Primary School has launched a new food share project which aims to help parents who are struggling to make ends meet at home.
Working in partnership with non-profit organisation FareShare, the project sees bags of food distributed to parents for a small fee.
The bags contain a variety of products sourced from supermarkets and restaurants that would otherwise end up in landfill including fresh and ambient/long-life products.
Each week, up to 200kg of food is collected from a distribution centre in Aberkenfig with school staff volunteering each week to pack the bags. Parents can then pre-order and collect the bags for just £3 the next day.
In addition, a member of staff uses the contents from one of the bags to cook from, making as many meals as possible to show just how much can be prepared.
Ogmore Vale Primary School’s Susanne Roderick, who set up the project, said: “We were beginning to hear more and more from parents who were struggling to make ends meet at home. This was very worrying and we looked into providing some sort of food support as a school.
“We did some research and found FareShare online and, as an eco-school, we were very keen to work with them. Within a couple of weeks, we were receiving deliveries of 100kg and later 200kg of food weekly. 200kg of food provides 24 large bags of food for our families.
“The bags cost £3 as we only cover our costs. Clearly there is a much higher value to the bags if the goods were to be bought in a supermarket or local shop.”
Ogmore Vale also have plans to expand the programme and are currently looking for funding to but a large shop-type fridge so that they can start receiving fresh meats, fish and dairy products.
They also hope to invite parents in for cooking classes with each bag of food as well as a range of agencies to offer debt and housing advice to try to get to the root of the problems some families are facing.
Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “This is a fantastic project and one that will become incredibly important over the coming weeks as the Universal Credit allowance decreases and the price of domestic fuel increases.
“The bags prepared by staff at the school are incredibly good value and as well as providing a vital source of healthy food to families, also cuts down on the amount of food sent to landfill.”