The impact of Covid 19 on people’s ability to feed their families has reveals the challenges of living in an area of high deprivation in the South Wales Valleys.

During the pandemic, staff and volunteers in each of our Community & Family Hubs in Penyrenglyn, Penygraig, Rhydyfelin & Dinas, have stepped up to respond to the needs of our local communities; we’ve been donating over 1,000 free meals each week to vulnerable children in the Rhondda Valleys who normally rely on free school meals.

The Play Yard – Valleys Kids’ social enterprise in Treorchy utilised the facilities to respond to exceptional demand from families who are under tremendous pressure. Many have suddenly lost their primary source of income for an indefinite amount of time. Many rely on free school meals to provide a meal for their children, or have lost their job, or are unable to leave the house. The resulting stress and anxiety is an ongoing problem for many.

Valleys Kids’ Factory in Porth also in lockdown, but staff are working hard to support local families providing up to 50 food parcels a week. These are a lifeline for vulnerable families, more than 36% have 4 or more children.

Over the course of the lockdowns, with the support of  diverse sources of funding and local business support, we were able to provide:   21,254 lunches to disadvantaged children & families and deliver 1,970 food hampers.

“The support we have received from Valleys Kids with the food parcels has been brilliant. We really needed it at this time.”
Family receiving food parcels

“James has been having a hard time lately being stuck in isolation. He has ADHD and usually attends at least three groups at play centres a week and is always doing outside activities to burn up his energy. He is used to routine right now he’s over tired from not being able to sleep and yet still has energy to burn. He is tearful and sad Valleys Kids Play Yard has been bringing sunshine to his days by delivering special lunches for him and the three girls.

Today he received a very special birthday lunch that included a present of passes ready to visit the Play Yard when he can go to play. He also had lots of special treats in his bag. He smiled so much he now has something to plan and look forward to. Thank you so much to everyone at the Play Yard and all the delivery drivers. You really are fabulous people.”                    Family receiving children’s lunches