Two Assembly Members praised the ‘fantastic’ Wrexham Foodbank volunteers who give up their time to help some of the area’s most vulnerable people.
Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths was joined by Ken Skates, the AM for Clwyd South, for the visit to the centre on Garden Road on Friday afternoon (January 23).
The Labour Assembly Members heard first-hand about the circumstances which led to almost 3,000 people being given emergency three-day food parcels from April-September last year alone – including nearly 1,000 children.
Mrs Griffiths said: “Whilst it is disappointing that there is an increasing demand for foodbanks, it was heartening to see just how generously Wrexham residents have been donating.
“The volunteers at the Wrexham Foodbank do a fantastic job. Without them this valuable service, which really makes a positive difference to vulnerable people’s lives in our local community, would not be able to function.”
According to the Trussell Trust, foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide in 2013-14. Of those, 330,205 were children. In Wales, the figure was 79,049 – including 27,901 children.
A total of 2864 were diverted to Wrexham Foodbank over the six-month period – the second-highest figure in North Wales – including 965 children.
Mr Skates last year helped set up a foodbank to serve Penycae, Rhos and Johnstown.
He said: “The volunteers at Wrexham Foodbank are amazing. Some of the stories you hear are desperately sad, but thanks to the team here and the kindness and generosity of the public some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are able to get the short-term help they need.
“Foodbanks are a very temporary solution, though, and it shouldn’t be the case that people are being forced to rely on them in one of the richest countries in the world.
“However, rising fuel and energy costs, unemployment and changes to our benefits system such as the introduction of the bedroom tax mean 13 million people are living below the poverty line in the UK – and it’s getting worse.
“No one in this day and age should starve. It’s a national scandal and we are shamed as a society if we allow this to continue.”