550 people now using food banks in Flintshire

Reporter:

David Humphreys

The number of food bank users in Flintshire continues to rise month-by-month.

Andy Leake, founder member of the Trussell Trust, the Christian community organisation which kickstarted the Flintshire Foodbank, said around 550 people per month were now being fed by the service.

The increase in users represents an unfortunate prediction by Mr Leake, who told the Leader back in March that he expected the foodbank service to be “even busier in 2017”.

Mr Leake said numbers had continued to rise, despite already witnessing a 10 per cent increase on 2016 at the start of the year.

He said: “We’ve been steady, we’ve not seen a massive explosion of numbers but we do seem to be giving out more food than we have.

“We’re holding a collection next Friday at the Tesco in Mold for people to donate to.”

New data published by The Trussell Trust revealed that last summer 47 per cent of children who received support from food banks in its network were five to 11 years old.

Of the other children receiving support 27 per cent were aged zero to four, 21 per cent were aged 12 to 16 and five per cent went to children for whom their age was not known.

The figures also show that 4,412 more three-day emergency food supplies were given to children in July and August 2016 than in the previous two months.

Mr Leake said the Flintshire network of foodbanks, in Connah’s Quay, Saltney, Mold, Holywell, Mostyn, Flint and Buckley, was always open to those in need during the summer months.

“We obviously want to help where we can and while we’ve not seen a massive influx of families, we’ve offered our support to the food poverty groups at Flintshire Council,” he said.

“We are always open to families who may be struggling and we’ll help however we can.”

Mr Leake paid tribute to the generosity of the wider Flintshire community in donating to the foodbank, saying it was a “awesome thing to be involved in” but cited a national issue as a possible reason for the ever growing number of users.

He said: “It’s increasing each year and it’s on the rise with universal credit a big issue.

“The way benefits are being allocated will be a huge problem with families waiting eight weeks for money.

“How are you supposed to feed your family if you’re waiting that long for money? It’s a huge problem.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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