The Vale Food Bank provided over 2,300 food parcels during the first six months of the pandemic.
New figures released today reveal that food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network across Wales provided more than 70,000 emergency food parcels to people struggling to afford essentials between April and September.
More than 25,000 of these parcels went to children and these figures mark a 21% increase on the same period last year.
Across the UK, the charity is reporting record levels of need as more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people during the first six months of the pandemic, making it the busiest ever half-year period for food banks; over 470,000 of these parcels went to children.
While the figures highlight increasing need across the UK, the Trussell Trust warns their new figures do not include the number of people helped by the countless new community organisations, independent food banks and local authorities, which have stepped up during the pandemic to support their communities.
Susan Lloyd-Selby, Operations Manager for Wales at the Trussell Trust, explains: “Across Wales, the resilience of volunteers in food banks has been nothing short of outstanding. They have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials with the generous support of their local communities. But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food.
“In the last few months, we have welcomed vital steps taken by the Welsh Government to prevent people from falling into destitution such as their commitment to funding free school meals and strengthening the Discretionary Assistance Fund. It’s vital that support is in place for people when they need it most.
“This pandemic has shone a light on the difference we can make when we come together - we’ve made huge changes to the way we live, work and support each other. Together, we can end the injustice of people needing food banks. We can build a hunger free future.”
The Trussell Trust is concerned that food banks in its UK-wide network will see high levels of need over the winter and beyond – particularly as redundancies recently hit a record high, doubling since the previous quarter. It’s asking the UK government to ensure money is kept in the pockets of people who need it most by:
You can join the Trussell Trusts Hunger Free Future campaign via https://www.trusselltrust.org/hunger-free-future/