“I know there are a lot of struggles in the area, but I never imagined it was this bad.”
Throughout the last five months, Carl Williams, owner of Hasty Bite in Pembroke Dock, has been helping to provide hot meals for people in the community who are desperately struggling with food poverty.
The project, which has been run by Pembrokeshire Care Society and funded by Pembrokeshire County Council’s Food Poverty Grant, has provided no fewer than 1,536 free hot meals between December 2022 and April. Sadly, this has highlighted the staggering problem which families within the county are facing as a result of their food poverty.
“It’s been wonderful to take part in this project but as someone who really gets involved in the community, it’s been sobering to see the amount of people who frequently go without a proper meal,” continued Carl.
“To be able to provide meals for so many people and see what a difference it made in their lives is something that’s really stuck with me, but also seeing how these people have come together and made new friends. It just shows the spirit that is still very much alive in our community.”
Although Pembrokeshire Care Society is primarily a charity for people who are facing homelessness, the project has been aimed at anyone struggling with food poverty.
It has worked in conjunction with two local businesses, namely Hasty Bite in Pembroke Dock and Adam’s Coffee House in Haverfordwest, who provided the free meals.
Both cafes also provided free hot meals to the two VC Gallery sites within the county.
Barry John MBE, Founder of The VC Gallery, said: “The VC Gallery really appreciated the support from Pembrokeshire Care Society in getting fresh meals to lots of people who visit our charity on a day to day basis in both the Haverfordwest Hub and Pennar VC school.
“Veterans and the community had the opportunity to get great nutritious food to support the rising need due to the cost of living in our county and the VC thanks everyone involved for the support we’ve had over this period.”
Meanwhile Michael Hooper, Managing Director of Pembrokeshire Care Society, is delighted with the amount of people the project has helped over the past five months.
“It’s unfortunate that the scale of food poverty in the county is so high, but it’s also reassuring to know that there are organisations like ours and grants like the one provided by the Pembrokeshire County Council’s Food Poverty Grant that are working to address the issue,” he said.
“It’s also heartening to hear that the project has not only provided meals but has helped foster a sense of community among those who have benefited from it.
“It’s clear that the need for such initiatives is increasing and it’s important for us to continue to support them in any way we can.
“I hope that the success of this project will inspire others to take similar actions in their own communities, and that we can work together to alleviate the problem of food poverty for those who need it most.”