We are pleased to announce our end of year figures for Blaenau Gwent Foodbank as follows:-
New figures show 4405 emergency food supplies given to local people by Blaenau Gwent Foodbank in the last year
· 4405 three-day emergency food supplies given to local people in crisis by
Blaenau Gwent Foodbank in 2016-17. Up by 23% – over 1420 went to children
· Latest statistics published by The Trussell Trust foodbank network show UK-wide
foodbank figures are still not decreasing
· Local increase due to people struggling with: continued issues with benefit
payments; Universal Credit roll out in the area; low income; and insecure work.
Over 4400 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by Blaenau Gwent Foodbank during 2016-17 compared to 3578 in 2015-16. This is a massive increase of 23%. Of this number,1421 went to children.
The top three reasons for foodbank referral were: low income 27.49%; benefit change 22.81% and benefit delays 21.92%.
Over the last year, local people have donated almost 28 tonnes of food to Blaenau Gwent Foodbank, and over 50 people volunteered.
Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the foodbank, enabling us to give three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis.
Blaenau Gwent Foodbank shares the concerns of other Trussell Trust foodbanks in Universal Credit rollout areas about the adverse side effects the new system can have on people. The 6+ week waiting period for a first payment can contribute to debt, mental health issues and rent arrears. The effects of these can last even after people receive their Universal Credit payments, as bills and debts pile up.
Blaenau Gwent Foodbank is working hard to stop local people affected going hungry but is troubled by the extra pressure this puts on food donation stocks and volunteers’ time and emotional welfare.
As well as providing emergency food, Blaenau Gwent Foodbank provides essentials like washing powder, nappies and sanitary products to families who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the local area.
Since November when it launched Fuelbank it has issued 380 Fuelbank vouchers to the end of March totalling £18,600+ in funds towards Gas and Electricity for those in Fuel Poverty.
Amanda Davies Foodbank Manager of Blaenau Gwent Foodbank said: “It is deeply concerning that we are still seeing an increase in the number of three-day emergency food supplies provided to local people in crisis in Blaenau Gwent over the last year. A big thank you is extended to all who have donated food for which we are truly grateful and with stocks quite low we still would appreciate more donations. Despite generous donations of food, there are many hidden costs to run the foodbank. Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, and other overheads like utilities and insurances. A van to pick up donated food and deliver to distribution centres would be useful if we had the opportunity too”
The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more at website link www.blaenaugwent.foodbank.org.uk for financial donations to the foodbank or contact
Blaenau Gwent Foodbank Manager
Tel: 0845 600 7780 / 01495 352223