Stephen pays tribute to work of food bank volunteers in Cardiff and Penarth

Stephen this week paid tribute to the work of food bank volunteers in Cardiff and Penarth.

Speaking in Parliament in an Opposition Day debate on food banks (December 17), he said: “I pay tribute to the many volunteers and organisations in my constituency, including Cardiff food bank, which is part of the Trussell Trust network and fed more than 4,500 people in the past year. The independent food bank at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Penarth fed an increasing number of people this year—2,180 to date, and that number is increasing all the time.”

The debate focused on the increasing use of food banks across the country, which the Labour and Co-operative MP for Cardiff South and Penarth said is a result of the cost-of-living crisis being felt by working families and the most vulnerable in society.

Speaking after the debate, he said: “Under this Tory-led Government we are seeing a cost-of-living crisis that is pushing increasing numbers of families into severe hardship.

“Low pay and rising prices, and policies such as the bedroom tax and punitive sanctions, have pushed hundreds of thousands into relying on food banks.”

Stephen’s contribution and the debate in full can be read here.


Facts and figures:

  • The Trussell Trust provided emergency food aid to 913,138 people in 2013-2014, up from 41,000 who sought help in 2010.
  • The Trussell Trust say that 45 per cent used food banks because of problems related to social security: 30 per cent accounted for ‘benefit delays’; 15 per cent accounted for ‘benefit changes’.
  • 22 per cent of those helped were referred because of low income, compared to 16 per cent in the same period last year.
  • The Trussell Trust said that “…research showed that these very real challenges people face are too often being compounded – rather than assisted – by their experience of the social security system“.
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom estimated that 60% of food bank visits were due to problems with benefit payments.
  • The Inquiry also estimated that up to one quarter of people relying on food banks were in low paid work – and some food banks reported over half of its clients being in work.

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