Welsh food banks running out of supplies over school holidays for first time ever

A Wales food bank has made a desperate appeal for donations after running out of supplies during the school holidays.

The summer typically sees more families trying to access support, with children out of school and unable to get free lunches or breakfast.

The Trussell Trust food bank network revealed that last summer almost half (47 per cent) of children who received support from food banks in its network were 5-11 years old. In 2016, the summer months saw food bank use increase by around 10 per cent.

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Eastside food bank in Swansea has now run out of basic supplies such as dried pasta and toiletries, for the first time since it opened in 2013.   Swansea East food bank is a small independent food bank but Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East said they weren’t the only organisation struggling.

‘This year is worst ever’

“Eastside Food Bank have had record numbers of referrals from Friday – some are homeless and do not have anything and have just been resettled, ” she told Wales Online. 

“Give food to the food bank now – it is the first time ever they have run out of food.

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“This year is the worst ever.”

“Mumbles Food bank had to buy food last week because they had run out.

“The parents can’t afford to feed their children over the school holidays, they usually get breakfast club and lunch at school.

“There is a huge problem here.”

Strong link between benefit sanctions and increased use of food banks

Jeremy Corbyn called the number of children missing out on meals because of the summer break a “national disgrace” adding: “We can’t have millions of children going hungry over the school holiday”. Conservative MP for Dorset replied “Go on Jezza: do your thing with the loaves and fishes! Best to stop walking on the water before you do though.”

The Trussell Trust told Huff Post UK: “As a nation we also must address the reasons why families with children are referred to food banks in the first place.

“We welcome the government’s decision to maintain free school lunches for children during term time – the next step must be to help families during the holidays.”

Food banks need more than just food – here’s what else to donate. 

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