More People In Wales Depend On Foodbanks

9 June 2014, 16:56 | Updated: 9 June 2014, 16:59

Heart's being told the number of people relying on foodbanks in Wales is "disproportionately high".

Almost 80,000 emergency food parcels were handed out here last year.

A report from Oxfam and the Trussell Trust says more people in Wales are struggling to afford food - and things here are tougher than anywhere else.

Kirsty Davies is the head of Oxfam Cymru. She said: "When we compare ourselves to somewhere like Scotland - who've got 5 million people to our 3 million people - more food parcels were handed out in Wales than in Scotland last year.

"That's how desperate the situation is."

Low pay and cuts to the welfare system are being blamed for the rise in people using foodbanks.

Figures show 31 per cent of Welsh workers are earning less than the "living wage" and a fifth of people are claiming benefits.

Jess from Newport has used a one before.  She's described it as a lifeline: "I'd be lost if we didn't have the foodbank.

"When you're on such a low income and you've got to pay so many bills and you're left with no money, you've got no other alternative."

The Trussell Trust says communities are generous in donating supplies to their foodbanks but in a fair society so many people shouldn't have to rely on them.

Charities are coming together to demand ministers do more to help people.

Kirsty from Oxfam says they have to get to the heart of the issue. She said: "The UK government really needs to get a grip on why people are visiting foodbanks and appreciate the scale of the problem because we know it's not a choice.

"We don't want to be sat here next year talking about millions and millions more people visiting foodbanks. All the political parties really need to pay attention to this issue and
re-commit to making the welfare system the safety net it once was."

The UK government says it's spending millions of pounds on ways to help people on low incomes.