Council funding for food distribution schemes extended

Since the end of December 2022, the Council has provided over £150,000 worth of grant funding to new and existing organisations to support residents with emergency food provision.

An initial grant of £82,190 was provided in early 2023 from the Discretionary cost of living scheme and a further £89,850 was awarded to original applicants in March 2023 to extend the provision.

Organisations were able to apply for a grant of up £5,000 and the emergency food provision provided in a number of different ways. Some provide meals, end of day food and food parcels for residents to pick up and collect.

The food schemes supported 1,251 residents in February 2023 alone including:    

  • Sirhowy Community centre supported 300 residents.
  • Ebenezer Baptist Church supported 205 residents.
  • EVI in Ebbw Vale supported 204 residents.

The Council has also supported the Trussell Trust. Between December 2022 and February 2023 over 550 deliveries were sent to families supporting over 880 adults and almost 400 children. Further funding was also allocated in late March 2023 to extend provisions as part of Discretionary cost of living scheme.

Councillor Stephen Thomas, Leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said:

’We recognise that one of the main pressures facing local families is the increasing cost of food as prices have risen sharply for even the most basic commodities in the last year. I am pleased that we have been able to support the work of the Trussell Trust and many community groups involved in providing food for our most vulnerable residents.

I would like to thank everyone for their hard work, and it continues to be one of our top priorities to do all we can as a Council to support our communities through the cost-of-living crisis.’

If you would like to make a food donation then please contact the Trussell Trust or one of the local community groups direct

Case Study – Gwent Valleys Evangelism

A Gentleman contacted the Council on social media for a food parcel as he had lost his job due to mental health issues and he could not get money from DWP for 6 weeks. He found sustaining a job difficult due to his health issues.

Gwent Valleys Evangelism started to deliver a weekly food parcel to him. They made sure they had regular conversations with him at his door or on social media.

The challenge with this gentleman was building a trusting relationship. They managed to overcome this, and he has confided in us about his life and how this situation is effecting him daily.  He has been encouraged him to get help with his mental health. He has visited his GP and GDAS, who now visit him every week via social services.