FOODBANKS across Wales provided more than 54,000 meals to children over the last year – one every ten minutes.
That is according to the latest Trussell Trust report, which reveals foodbanks in its network across Wales handed out 146,000 emergency food parcels to people facing crisis between April 2020 and March 2021.
These figures mark an eight per cent increase on the the previous year, when 135,000 parcels were handed out.
It is also a 69 per cent increase since 2015/16.
The Trust say these figures are just the tip of the iceberg, with a number of people being helped by other food aid providers and community groups that sprang up during the pandemic.
Susan Lloyd-Selby, the Trussell Trust’s operations manager for Wales, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food.
“Yet our network of food banks across Wales continue to provide huge numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials.
“This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.
“We’ve welcomed an increased take up of the Discretionary Assistance Fund along with extended free school meal provision, but we must go further to ensure we all have enough money for essentials.
“We are asking you, the public, to write to your Senedd election candidates for a commitment to working to end the need for food banks. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future for Wales.”
Hunger in the Wales isn’t about food, the charity says, it’s about people not having enough money for the basics and with high rates of unemployment and record redundancies, more people than ever need the social security system to provide a strong enough lifeline to stay afloat.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network added: “Independent food banks in Wales are also continuing to see relentless need for their help although combined Trussell Trust and independent food bank figures represent a fraction of the food insecurity picture.
“Now more than ever, our UK social security system needs to be reset, the Discretionary Assistance Fund promoted and prioritised and adequate wages and secure work ensured.
“It’s the responsibility of governments to stop hunger from happening in the first place so that everyone is able to afford to buy food and other essentials.”