I had the privilege yesterday to be invited to Panteg House in Panteg, Pontypool
to meet an incredible group of people.
Bought by the community in November 2020, Panteg House is home to a foodbank, groups and clubs, a community garden, sports teams, and is also a locally loved meeting spot.
Over 60 different community groups and organisations use Panteg House – from babies and toddlers to pensioners.
Initially operating as the ‘Free School Meal Pick-Up Point’ for Griffithstown and Sebastapol at the beginning of the pandemic, the scheme quickly snowballed into a community food and clothes bank. Seven days a week amazing volunteers sort, pack and distribute food and essential items to those in need as well as offering financial, mental health and physical support across Torfaen.
Many Torfaen Labour Councillors, led by Cllr Anthony Hunt, are amongst the local residents who make up the volunteers that ensure households across Torfaen have access to regular food.
Alan Peploe from the Foodbank showed me round and explained how donations come in and how they’re then distributed. It’s expertly organised and done with such care and compassion.
With the highest inflation rate for a decade, gas and electricity bills up 54%, tax rises in April and the cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, more and more families are struggling. The Foodbank at Panteg House is, I fear, going to be even busier.
Thank you to Alan and to all the volunteers for welcoming me to Panteg House today and to Nick Thomas-Symonds MP
and Torfaen Labour Council Leader Cllr Anthony Hunt for hosting my visit.