A RECORD number of food parcels were handed out in Flintshire last year, new figures show.

New figures from Flintshire foodbank revealed that 11,573 emergency food parcels were provided to people facing hardship across Flintshire in the last year – with 4,998 of these going to children.

Flintshire foodbank has also seen a 47% increase in the number of emergency food parcels distributed compared to last year - the most parcels the foodbank has ever provided.

The levels of need were particularly acute in winter, and December was the busiest month for Flintshire Foodbank, with 2008 emergency food parcels provided by staff and volunteers this month.

Project Manager at Flintshire Foodbank, Sue Leake said: “This last 12 months has been the busiest on record for our foodbank, with such a high volume of clients needing emergency help.

"Our amazing volunteers work so hard trying to ensure that no one in Flintshire goes hungry. While demand for our service is rising, we are finding that donations are not keeping pace with the level of demand, and we are having to buy food on a regular basis.

"We are so grateful to the wonderful people and businesses who donate to us, we couldn’t operate without you, but we do need more! If you can help in any way, please get in touch.

"We are firmly behind the Trussell Trust’s call for an ‘Essentials Guarantee’ to ensure that the basic rate of benefits will always cover the real cost of essentials, at the very least, which would take many people in crisis out of the need to come to our Foodbank for help.”

Hunger charity, the Trussell Trust say that the rise is a product of problems with the UK's welfare system – not just the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

The charity is one the UK's leading operator of food banks and distributes millions of food parcels to those in need every year – with the number has rising again this year.

Across the UK, a total of 2,986,203 emergency food parcels were given out between April 2022 and March this year – up 37% on the year before. These figures cover parcels handed out by the Trussell Trust itself, but do not include emergency food supplies provided by other charities and organisations.


Chief Executive at the Trussell Trust, Emma Revie described the statistics as "extremely concerning".

"The continued increase in parcel numbers over the last five years indicates that it is ongoing low levels of income and a social security system that isn’t fit for purpose that are forcing more people to need food banks, rather than just the recent cost of living crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic."

“Food banks were set up to provide short-term support to people in an emergency, they are not a lasting solution to hunger and poverty, and more than three quarters of the UK population agree with us that they should not need to exist."

Along with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust is urging the Government to adopt an 'essentials guarantee', ensuring Universal Credit payments always cover the cost of basic essentials.

Research by the two charities suggests the current £85 Universal Credit standard allowance is £35 short of this target.

Emma added: “For too long people have been going without because social security payments do not reflect life’s essential costs and people are being pushed deeper into hardship as a result."  

Across Wales, 185,320 parcels were handed out in the year to March – up 41% from 131,663 the year before, and the largest increase of any of the UK's four home nations.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We are committed to eradicating poverty and we recognise the pressures of the rising cost of living, which is why we have uprated benefits by 10.1% as well as making an unprecedented increase to the National Living Wage this month.

“This is on top of changes already made to Universal Credit which mean claimants can keep more of their hard-earned money – a boost worth £1,000 a year on average." “We are also providing record levels of direct financial support for the most vulnerable."