The new Pantry food bank was opened on Friday by former Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain MP and Assembly Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas today in Pontardawe.
This is the third food bank to open in the Neath constituency over the past three years along with the Catch food bank in Ystalyfera and the Trussell Trust food bank in Neath town centre.
It hopes to be able to serve the needs of those who live in Pontardawe, Alltwen, Trebanos, Rhos, Rhydyfro and Ynysmeudwy.
Speaking at the opening Mr Hain said, “it always makes me pleased to see a community coming together like this to try and help those less fortunate than them. I have really enjoyed this opportunity to meet the volunteers here in Pontardawe, they set a great example for us all in caring for others and their attitude is remarkable.
“It’s hardly a surprise to people in our constituency that times have been tough and many are struggling. But I take great pride in the way that we have united across our towns and villages to say we will support and carry one another.
“We can all accept that we would rather not see food banks in our society, but hiding from the truth does not make it go away, we’re going to fight for these people and do what we can to help them get back on their feet.”
Pantry is open Tuesday and Saturday mornings between 10am and 12 noon. They work in partnership with local organisations such as Social Services, Credit Unions, and Health Services. People are issued with vouchers from the Job Centre Plus as a temporary means of helping them during a small financial crisis.