Posted: Wed 15th May 2024

Record number of emergency food parcels provided by Trussell Trust food banks in Wales in past 12 months

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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In the past 12 months, food banks within the Trussell Trust network in Wales have distributed a record 187,400 emergency food parcels, marking a significant increase and setting a distressing record for the region.

The rise reflects a growing crisis where more individuals, particularly families and the elderly, face severe hardships in meeting basic needs.

From April 2023 to March 2024, approximately 88,900 people received aid from these food banks, with 47,700 being first-time users, indicating the escalating severity of the situation.

This includes nearly 12,300 parcels distributed in Flintshire alone, showing a consistent increase across the region.

The data also shows that 65% of the assistance was directed towards families with children, highlighting the profound impact of economic instability on younger populations.

Additionally, there was a 14% increase in aid provided to households with individuals aged 65 and above, demonstrating the widening reach of food insecurity among different age groups.

The primary reason driving people towards food banks has been identified as extremely low incomes or problems with debt, which accounted for 72% of referrals.

Speaking about the rising need for emergency food, Jo Harry, Network Lead for Wales at the Trussell Trust, said: “Wales is seeing more and more people, particularly families with children, unable to afford the essentials needed to get by. This is forcing more people through the doors of food banks than ever before.

“Everyone in Wales should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes. This has got harder in the last year, as has been shown by the 47,700 people needing an emergency food parcel for the first time. This is not right. Something has to change.

“The new First Minister must work to end the need for food banks in Wales. With a new child poverty strategy in place and a commitment to streamline Welsh benefits, the Welsh Government has levers to turn the tide of hardship facing our communities. Without action, we will be faced with another generation of children who are growing up believing that food banks are a normal part of life – instead of an extraordinary measure to mitigate the failings of our social security system.”

“Alongside change needed in Wales, the next UK Government cannot afford to ignore this issue and they need to introduce an Essentials Guarantee as a matter of urgency. We live in one of the richest collective of nations in the world but despite this our society leaves so many people behind. 

“In this election year, this is the issue the that we can’t afford to ignore. All political parties must set out how they will build a future where no one needs a food bank to survive. We know what needs to change to help people who can’t afford the essentials and we need parties to act.”

Commenting on new figures, Jo Stevens, Labour’s Shadow Welsh Secretary, said:

“These astonishing figures reflect the painful reality for far too many families across Wales.

“This Conservative government will preside over a fall in living standards over the course of a Parliament for the first time in modern history.

“A UK Labour government would drive the economic growth needed to put more money in people’s pockets.”

The Trussell Trust is calling for comprehensive strategies to mitigate this crisis. These include a plan to reduce the need for food banks, simplifying Welsh benefits, setting clear targets to eliminate child poverty, and increasing crisis support through

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