AMMANFORD Food Bank has been given £15,000 spread over three years by Newsquest’s Our Communities Together appeal.

The funding came through the appeal which is run in partnership between South Wales Guardian’s publisher Newsquest and Community Foundation Wales.

Ammanford Food Bank is part of the Trussell Trust network and opened in 2013 with the aim of supporting people in financial crisis. The food bank has fed more than 21,000 people, with more than 40 per cent being children.

The food bank supports families with packaged food, toiletries, baby products, pet food, cleaning products, fresh bakery products, fruit and vegetables.

The money will be going towards the running costs of the food bank’s 358 Help Centre which opened last August.

Cheryl Dulake, Ammanford Food Bank’s development and support manager, said: “We will be using the money to help with the running of the help centre which is there to intervene before the awful crisis where people cannot afford to get food.

“We are trying to stop the need for food banks and anybody can come to the help centre and we take the time to actively listen so that people can express what is really going on in their lives and from there we pick up things that may be able to help them and refer them to the right organisations.”

Ms Dulake said that they are not qualified advisors but can offer suggestions and sign post to the most relevant people who can help based on the concerns raised and they work with a range of professionals including local authorities, housing associations, Citizens Advice, Hafal, midwives, health visitors, youth services, drug and alcohol support services and domestic violence support services.

“We aim to help with the root causes of people’s crises to stop the indignity of not being able to afford food for your family or be able to heat your home or warm water.”

Since August 2022, the help centre has made around £180,000 in financial gains for clients.

The funding from the Our Communities Together scheme will go towards the renting of the church building in Ammanford, cost of electricity, Wi-Fi and much more to ensure that the help centre can continue to operate and support the community.

The help centre is open two days a week and is run by two part-time support managers, a part-time lead assistant and a number of volunteers.