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More families turning to foodbanks for help in Wales

Nearly 8,000 families got help from foodbanks over the last twelve months, according to a leading charity. That's twice as many as the previous year.

The Department of Work and Pensions quote independent research that says across the UK, fewer people are struggling with their food bills than only a few years ago. So what's the experience on the ground? Ian Lang has been to one centre in Wrexham to find out.


DWP: Reforms will 'improve lives' of poorest families

The Department for Work and Pensions has responded to claims from the Trussel Trust - which runs the largest number of foodbanks - that the rapid increase in the number of people using foodbanks across Wales is partly attributable to benefit delays or changes.

The Trussel Trust says the number of people using foodbanks across Wales has more than doubled over the last year and over 50 per cent of referrals to foodbanks in 2013-14 were a result of benefit delays or changes.

We're spending £94bn a year on working age benefits so that the welfare system provides a safety net to millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed so they can meet their basic needs.

Even the OECD say there are fewer people struggling with their food bills compared with a few years ago, benefit processing times are improving and even the Trussell Trust's own research recognises the effect their marketing activity has on the growth of their business.

The truth is that the employment rate is the highest it's been for five years and our reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities by promoting work and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.

– Spokesperson, Department for Work and Pensions

People using foodbanks in Wales doubles over last year

More and more people are turning to foodbanks across Wales Credit: ITV News

The number of people using foodbanks in Wales has more than doubled in the last year.

Between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014, 913,138 people in crisis across the UK were provided with three days' emergency food, 79,049 of whom were in Wales. In 2012-13, the figure for Wales was 35,919.

The charity which runs the largest number, the Trussel Trust, also says over half of referrals are because of benefit changes or delays.

A total of 35 Trussel Trust foodbanks opened in Wales in 2013-14. That compares to just one in 2008-09.