Cardiff Foodbank provided 13,248 three-day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 and March 2019. Of this number, 5041 (38%) went to households with children aged predominately 0-11 years. 48% went to single people.
The local food bank’s figures feed into a larger national picture with a record increase in food bank use across the UK reported today by the Trussell Trust.
Cardiff Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty; as well as ensure those in work have sufficient means to feed themselves and their families.
The figures from Cardiff Foodbank are a 15% increase on the same period last year. From reasons given by those who visit their Distribution Centres, the charity believes the local increase is due to low income and insecure work, and people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; primarily issues with Universal Credit such as the complexity of the assessment, and the systems that claimants have to navigate, before and during the five week wait.
Cardiff Foodbank shares the concerns of other food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network about the roll out and application of Universal Credit – the issues faced by local people moving onto the new system are reported as being significant. The food bank regularly gives emergency food and support to people who are waiting at least five-weeks for a first Universal Credit payment.
Helen Bull, Development Manager of Cardiff Foodbank said:
“No one in the Cardiff area should need a food bank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. It doesn’t have to be this way - our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. This isn’t right.
In-work poverty also leaves many unable to feed themselves or their families, bringing them to us for emergency support”
“Until we reach a future where food banks are no longer needed, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most. We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating over 150 tonnes of food, time and funds. Thank you.”
The running costs for the food bank are raised locally to enable them to continue their work. Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, vans to pick up donated food and deliver to distribution centres, and other overheads like utilities and insurances. The charity is very grateful to all who donated financially over the past year. This essential funding has made it possible to continue to meet the needs through emergency food supply to the vulnerable across the city.
The food bank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the food bank’s work can find out more at: http://www.localgiving.org/charity/cardifffoodbank/