Biggest ever increase in welsh foodbank use: 120% rise in numbers turning to foodbanks in last 12 months

UK Foodbank charity The Trussell Trust says this must be a wake-up call.

Trussell Trust foodbanks have seen the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food nationwide since the charity began in 2,000. Over 35,000 people in Wales have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, more than twice the number helped in 2011-12.

Rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits, underemployment and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in Wales have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry. This dramatic rise in foodbank usage predates April’s welfare reforms, which could see numbers increase further in 2013-14. 

35,919 people received a minimum of three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in Wales in 2012-13, compared to 16,204 in 2011-12. Of those helped in 2012-13, 12,625 (35.1 percent) were children. 5,784 people were fed in Cardiff alone with Cardiff foodbank giving out over 53 tonnes of food. Nationally, Trussell Trust foodbanks have given three days emergency food to 346,992 in 2012-13 compared to 128,697 in 2011-12.

The Trussell Trust has seen a 55% increase in the number of foodbanks launched in Wales since April 2012 but has seen a 120% increase in numbers of people given emergency food. Christian charity The Trussell Trust is launching three new foodbanks every week to help meet demand and has launched 345 UK foodbanks in partnership with churches and communities to date.

Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould says:

'The sheer volume of people who are turning to foodbanks because they can’t afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep. Politicians across the political spectrum urgently need to recognise the real extent of UK food poverty and create fresh policies that better address its underlying causes. This is more important than ever as the impact of the biggest reforms to the welfare state since it began start to take effect. Since April 1st we have already seen increasing numbers of people in crisis being sent to foodbanks with nowhere else to go.’

He continues:

‘Last year The Trussell Trust estimated that our foodbanks would help 250,000 people in 2012-13, we’ve helped 100,000 more than that. 2012-13 was much tougher for people than many anticipated. Incomes are being squeezed to breaking point. We’re seeing people from all kinds of backgrounds turning to foodbanks: working people coming in on their lunch-breaks, mums who are going hungry to feed their children, people whose benefits have been delayed and people who are struggling to find enough work. It’s shocking that people are going hungry in 21st century Britain.’

People turn to foodbanks for a range of reasons including low-income, redundancy due to benefit delay, debt and benefit changes. Other reasons included domestic violence, sickness, refused crisis loans, debt and unemployment. Less than five percent of those helped turn to foodbanks due to homelessness. The majority of those helped are working age families.

Foodbanks are community driven with an estimated 30,000 volunteers giving their time across the UK. Over 300 tonnes of food was donated by the public in Wales in 2012-13. Chris Mould adds: ‘Whilst it’s deeply concerning that so many people are facing hunger in the UK, the evident willingness of the public to help their neighbours through foodbanks has prevented thousands of crises escalating into disaster. We regularly hear people say that ‘the foodbank saved my life’ and it’s local communities that make that possible.’

For more on foodbanks, visit www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects

To find out more about Cardiff Foodbank, visit www.cardifffoodbank.org.uk/

In our Document Library you can now find a report called 'Effective Services for Vulnerable Groups: Citizen Directed Support - Key Findings', and a covering letter from Dr Andrew Goodall, Chair of the Effective Services for Vulnerable Groups Delivery Board.

The report highlights the key findings from the research into Citizen Directed Support undertaken by WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action).

You can read the letter and report here.

Cardiff Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Team is working with its counterparts in the Welsh Government, Caerphilly Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Torfaen Council and University of South Wales on a Project that aims to simplify and improve how public sector organisations procure goods, services and works.

As part of this project, and following consultation with small business and voluntary sector representatives, Cardiff Council has now launched an online:

  

  

In addition the latest edition of Cardiff Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Newsletter (March 2013) has just been published.

If you have any comments, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In January 2010, the ‘Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010’ came into force and places a duty ona-zcarersdirectory all health boards to create a Carers’ Information and Communication Strategy that will demonstrate how they will support carers.
Joint work was undertaken by Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board (UHB) in developing their strategy, in partnership with local authorities, C3SC, VCVS and the third sector. The strategy has now been submitted to Welsh Government for approval.
The working group has maintained its structure in order to deliver key pieces of work that will offer benefits to carers. This includes a new Cardiff and Vale Carers’ Handbook, training and learning resources for staff from statutory agencies and the third sector, and the Cardiff and Vale A-Z Carers’ Directory.
This Directory offers a collated reference book of third sector and statutory services that carers can
access for support.

A launch event for the Cardiff and Vale A-Z Carers’ Directory will be announced soon. Keep an eye on the Cardiff Health and Social Care Network web page at www.c3sc.org.uk/networks/hscn for details. If you are a carer or a carer service provider and would like to contact the Cardiff and Vale Health Board, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download a PDF of the directory here.

If you claim Gift Aid, you must take action now to prepare for the new system.

Charities Online - HMRC's new system for claiming Gift Aid - is now live. It replaces the paper form that members currently use to claim tax repayments.
The transition period for implementing the changes will end on 30 September this year. This is a tight timescale so it's important that you take steps now to ensure you have everything in place. If you don't, your claims may end up being delayed or even reduced in value.
  
What you need to do
Together with voluntary sector partners, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has produced a set of clear instructions you can follow.
  
Read the step by step guide to Charities Online (pdf 225kb)
  
It covers:

  • Why the changes are important
  • What the changes are
  • How you can plan for them
  • The three ways you can claim Gift Aid 
  • Details of the new Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

  
If you have any questions or concerns about the new system, please contact HMRC on 0845 302 0203.