NEW figures released by the Trussell Trust have revealed a shocking 14 per cent increase in emergency food parcels being handed out to Welsh children last summer.

Food supplies for children totalled 3,634 in the six-week summer period in 2017, which then rose to 4,137 in the same period last year.

Extra financial pressures during the summer holidays for families who would have been entitled to free school meals during term time has caused an increase in foodbank use. But the Trussell Trust stressed that tackling delays in benefits and ending the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment, which affect families’ ability to afford essentials, should be a priority for the government.

The figures have emerged against a backdrop of soaring foodbank use in Wales. Between April 2018 and March 2019, foodbanks in the charity’s Welsh network provided 113,373 emergency supplies to people in crisis. This is a 15 per cent increase from 2017 to 2018 when 98,350 emergency supplies went to people in crisis.

The charity is now urging the public to donate food to their local foodbanks.


Lloyd-Selby, who is the Wales operations manager for the Trussell Trust, said: “Food banks do all they can to help families in Wales over the summer and many run holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare. But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.

“Ultimately, we should all be protected from needing a food bank’s help, no matter the time of the year. Wales has the highest child poverty rates in the UK and if we are to end hunger in Wales, we need to make sure everyone is anchored from being swept into poverty. The government needs to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage, which would help eliminate the need for a food bank parcel altogether.

“While it’s great to see the Welsh Government committing funding to tackle holiday hunger through their School Holiday Enrichment Programme, food provision cannot, and must not, be a long-term solution to poverty.”

This month the Argus launched its Foodbank Appeal to provide as much produce as possible to Newport Foodbank which has, in just six months, handed out an eye-watering 12 tonnes of food to those in desperate need.

Items needed by Newport Foodbank include: Tinned fish, coffee, tinned fruit, milk, rice pudding, custard, tinned tomatoes and toiletries.

South Wales Argus:

If you would like to donate any of the above, you can visit Newport Foodbank along Corn Street on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Items can also be taken to a variety of drop-off points, including: McCann’s Rock N Ale Bar and Baneswell Social Club everyday. Barnabas Arts House will be open every Tuesday to Friday and X-Clusive Jewellery will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm to receive donations.