A social enterprise could be set up to tackle the issue of food poverty in Flintshire.
The move has been put forward by Flintshire Council after officials said they had witnessed an increasing number of cases where families are unable to access or afford fresh food.
Last summer, the local authority joined up with other organisations to deliver more than 17,000 meals to children throughout the county via its play schemes.
The ‘Share Your Lunch’ initiative will be taking place again during this year’s summer holidays to help feed vulnerable youngsters.
However, leading figures have now set out ambitions to create a business to address food poverty all year round in partnership with Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and Liverpool-based caterers Can Cook.
Flintshire Council’s chief executive Colin Everett said it would help to improve the wellbeing of people who are struggling to make ends meet.
He said: “This could be quite significant and it’s the first enterprise of its kind in Wales.
“The idea is that we create a sustainable social enterprise that can begin to provide good quality, cost-effective food for certain target groups.
“We’ve got some initial target groups, who are people are vulnerable and we would look to meet some of their food needs.
“When you talk about Universal Credit, people are in a position of poverty and choosing between which bill to pay.
“If we can help with a subsidised form of food support then that’s only going to help their wellbeing and their financial position.”
The authority’s cabinet will be asked to agree in principle to proceed with the model at a meeting on Tuesday.
The scheme would look to recover its costs by trading with housing associations and other organisations to provide catering.
If it is approved, a community kitchen is expected to be created in Shotton, where people could be trained and given jobs.
Mr Everett added that a business case will be drawn up over the next few months with a view to setting the company up by the end of the year.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Picture: The “Share Your Lunch” initiative in Flintshire last summer