Food bank usage

In Flintshire between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, 7155 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis, with 3002 of these going to children.  

This is not right, it’s not right that in what is a civilised society like ours in what is supposedly the fourth biggest economy in the world that food bank usage is at a record high across the country. 

Across the UK, food banks in The Trussell Trust network distributed 1,583,668 three day emergency food supplies to help people in crisis, a record rise of 18.8% on the previous year.  

Despite these numbers, we are repeatedly being told by the Tory Government that Austerity is over. This same Government who often cite record numbers of people in employment where in reality there are now more people than ever before from working households who are in poverty. 

Flintshire’s food banks do amazing work. However I want to live in a society with no food banks whatsoever. People go through hardship at certain points of their lives for various reasons, but these people shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. The benefit system is in place to prevent people from getting into poverty, it shouldn’t be driving people into it. 

In response to the record numbers using food banks The Trussell Trust has called for an end to the five week wait to receive the first payment of Universal Credit 

They have said the main reasons for people needing emergency food are benefits consistently not covering the cost of living and delays or changes to benefits being paid. The five week wait has therefore played a big part in driving people to food banks 

The charity believes ending this five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment should be the Government’s first priority to help create a future without food banks. 

In the long run the Government needs to provide financial security with a welfare system that truly reflects the cost of living and by ensuring work is secure and paying the real Living Wage. Until then many people will have to rely on the generosity of their fellow citizens and the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that provide this vital service.