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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.”


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.


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."

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