A local social enterprise has joined forces with the Isle of Anglesey County Council and community hubs to provide free nutritious meals to Anglesey residents.

As the cost-of-living crisis takes its toll, the aim of the project is to help tackle food poverty by providing quality meals in community freezers across the Island. Delivered through the Neges project, Menter Môn, Anglesey Council will work together to stock freezers in ten community hubs across the island with locally produced ready meals.

Anyone can access the meals in the community freezers which aim to help households that are struggling to manage with increasing food costs. All the meals are prepared on the island at Dylan’s commercial kitchen with an emphasis on using local produce and ingredients (including lamb from Dolmeinir near Llangefni and sausages from Edwards of Conwy).

An important part of the project is collaboration with other schemes such as the Warm Spaces project, food banks and Anglesey County Council’s cost of living projects.

Anglesey County Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi said: “We are pleased to continue our positive working relationship with Menter Môn we roll out this new scheme under the Neges banner.

She added: “We understand that many of our residents have faced hardship this winter with the on-going cost-of-living crisis. We are aware that the demand on our food banks has reached the highest ever levels, therefore, we hope this new initiative will go some way in easing financial pressures on households as well as introducing people to new recipes and local produce.”

Neges was initially set up by partners to provide meals to families who were facing hardship as well as frontline healthcare workers in the early days of the pandemic. Dylan’s Restaurants was part of the initial project, and all meals are still produced in their production kitchen in Llangefni.

Dafydd Jones is the Food Projects Manager at Menter Môn, he explains: “With a framework already in place and partners who were keen to act and to help, we were able to get the new Neges scheme up and running quickly. We’re grateful to the Isle of Anglesey County Council for their support and to Dylan’s for their co-operation as always.

“By working together, we have been able to provide a lifeline to those in most need as food prices continue to rise. With no need for a referral, we hope that those who may not qualify for food banks or who are worried about the stigma of accessing services like this can also benefit.

“We also hope that this scheme will reduce some of the demand on our hardworking food banks that have been tackling food poverty for over a decade on Anglesey. Ensuring the ingredients in the meals are local is also very important to us – not only does it support producers on the island, but it also reduces food miles and introduces local produce to a potential new market.”

One of the freezers is located at Canolfan Beaumaris. Warren Jones, manager at the centre, said: “We have seen first-hand this winter how people have struggled to meet rising costs. This new scheme will make a difference and will go some of the way to ensuring many of our most vulnerable families and individuals can enjoy a nutritious meal without having to worry about cost.”

This project has received funding from the funded by the Welsh Government discretionary hardship fund for 2022-23.

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Menter Môn Cyf, Neuadd Y Dref Llangefni, Sgwar Bulkeley, Llangefni, Ynys Môn LL77 7LR

Menter Môn Cyf, 144 Stryd Fawr, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9NU

Company Number: 3160233