How a £5-a-week food service is tackling poverty in Cardiff
Almost a third of households in Cardiff are living in poverty. Nearly half of them are in Ely. With more than 3,000 homes where the household income is below 60% of the median income Ely is the most deprived suburb in the city.
But now one enterprising community project is trying to change that with an innovative subscription service that aims to save families money and also cut food waste.
Slap bang on the edge of a main road full of cars heading into the city centre is the Dusty Forge Pantry, a former pub. Covered in handmade bunting, with green balloons pinned to walls and staffed by people with smiling faces wearing aprons, the centre is being styled as a food centre run by the community for the community.
The doors to the Dusty Forge Pantry opened on Wednesday welcoming people from Ely and Caerau to join.
Run by charity Church Action on Poverty under their Your Local Pantry network and working with community group Action in Caerau & Ely (ACE), the centre was set up as an alternative to foodbanks.
For just £5 a week members will be able to select at least 10 items of food ranging from fresh fruit and vegetable to store cupboard staples. Organisers say members end up with a basket of food worth around £20.
Members can pick two ‘high-end’ items and eight regular food supplies on a weekly visit at the store which is open every Wednesday afternoon. The food comes from surplus stock from supermarkets, helping to reduce food waste too.
The hope is that projects like this will enable people on very low incomes to preempt food poverty and hopefully avoid being swept deeper into difficulty.