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Welsh foodbanks on the rise

Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Wales now has 157 foodbanks which support people at risk of not being able to feed themselves and their families compared to 16 in 1998.

The new statistics (data collected July 2015) come from a research project by Bangor University Social Sciences PhD student David Beck.

The research says Wales had six independent food banks between 1998-2010. But this grew by 616% in the next five years to July 2015, when 43 independent food banks were traced.

The Trussell Trust is the biggest provider. Its seven food banks grew to 36 during the same period. The Trust had three satellite foodbanks through till 2010, and now has 78: a 2,500% increase.


Foodbank opens for those in 'full time employment'

It is estimate 9,000 people will use foodbanks in Cardiff in 2014. Credit: PA

Due to a "rapid rise" in demand Cardiff is to get a fifth foodbank.

The city council says 7,500 people received emergency foodparcels last year and that figure is expected to increase to 9,000 this year.

Cardiff Foodbank has opened its fifth Food Distribution Centre at St Saviour’s Church in Splott.

The new centre will be the first Trussell Trust Foodbank in Wales to offer evening opening hours, specifically aimed at those in full-time employment or education.

Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Derrick Morgan said, "In a climate of worsening poverty and rising homelessness, Foodbanks and their network of support services are becoming ever more necessary.”

Father Dean Atkins, Parish Priest of St German with St Saviour, said, ”It is clear that there is a need for this kind of support in the local community and I believe the Church has a responsibility to try and meet that need.”

Survey finds number of people using foodbanks higher than ever

Around 6,000 people are fed by foodbanks in the UK every week Credit: PA

The number of people in the UK turning to foodbanks for help is higher than ever before.

ITV News has surveyed 45 of the UK's busiest independent foodbanks, and found in the last 12 months almost every single one had seen more people than ever.

In Wales, the busiest independent foodbank facility is in the Rhondda.

In the last 12 months, it said it's seen a 40-50% increase in the number of people visiting.

It also said it helped an average of 1600 people a week in 2013 - 500 of which were children.

Along with the other 44 foodbanks surveyed, it said 'benefit' problems were the predominant reason for people needing the service,

Other findings of the survey:

• 75% of foodbanks surveyed say they're lacking sufficient space and/or cold storage to feed the number of people that need their service.

• 60% said the people coming to them for food hadn't eaten for at least 24 hours.

• 60% said they provide special 'no cook' packs for kettle or microwave facilities, as many people are struggling to pay their energy bills.

• All 45 said they provide additional products to help people, like toilet roll, toiletries, baby milk and pet food.

Charity demands inquiry into food poverty

The foodbank charity the Trussell Trust has written to the Prime Minister to launch an inquiry into why are people are turning to them, as demand continues to grow.

It has described the problem of food poverty as "scandalous", and warns some foodbank recipients are so poor they return produce that needs cooking as they cannot afford the electricity to heat it up.

The UK Government says there is no evidence that rising foodbank use is linked to welfare reform.

We have taken action to help families with the cost of living, including increasing the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 which will save a typical taxpayer over £700, freezing council tax for five years and freezing fuel duty.

The benefits system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed and there is no robust evidence that welfare reforms are linked to increased use of foodbanks.

– UK Government spokesman


Foodbanks use in Wales 'more than doubles'

More than twice the number of people have visited foodbanks in Wales this year compared to last.

The Trussell Trust says in the six months to September, 32,500 people in Wales received three days of emergency food from its foodbanks - 11,000 were children.

That compares to 12,377 in the same period last year.

The charity says there has been a surge in people using its foodbanks. Credit: PA

The charity says that UK hunger is getting worse and the charity is calling for a public inquiry into the causes of UK food poverty and the consequent surge in foodbank usage.

Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of The Trussell Trust, said: "The level of food poverty in the UK is not acceptable. We said in April the increasing numbers of people turning to foodbanks should be a wake-up call to the nation, but there has been no policy response."

"As a nation we need to accept that something is wrong and that we need to act now to stop UK hunger getting worse."