DEMAND for a new food co-operative has soared — and its orders of fruit and veg have quickly increased to more than £300 every week.
Volunteers from the area set up the scheme just five weeks ago after Swansea Council and Communities First officers in Mayhill looked at ways of improving access to fresh produce for local people.
Now more than 100 people have joined the co-operative, which sees volunteers take orders, deal with the wholesalers, portion out the 100 bags, collect payments and get the orders in for the following week.
Alice Greenlees, Communities First manager for Mayhill, said: "On the basis of 'food mapping' work we did locally, it was clear that access to fresh, good quality, inexpensive fruit and vegetables was very limited and a food co-op would help to remedy that problem."
The Communities First team has also set up twice weekly circuit sessions for young to middle-aged community members, while for older people or anyone with disabilities or illnesses, weekly pilates and chair-based exercises are also available.
It is all part of a wide range of Communities First projects which have been set up in the area with Swansea Council.
During the first six months of these projects, 74 people reported a positive attitude to improving their physical health, 58 people were able to access fresh fruit and vegetables and 11 people were cooking a fresh meal at least once a week.
Ryland Doyle, Swansea Council's cabinet member for target areas, said: "This is an excellent example of how understanding the different issues and opportunities within our communities can have an immediate impact on health and community life.
"The new co-operative has also joined forces with Townhill Primary School, which means children are getting into healthy eating from an early age, and at the other end of the spectrum, it has also linked with Topic House, the older people's information centre."
The co-operative meets at the Mayhill Community Centre every Friday morning.