Lib Dem leader raises plight of food banks in Mid Wales

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds has raised the plight of food banks across Montgomeryshire as they struggle with increased demand and stretched resources amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Jane Dodds
Jane Dodds

Speaking during a Senedd debate, Mid and West Wales member Jane Dodds questioned the Labour social justice minister Jane Hutt in response to a question on child poverty tabled by Montgomeryshire’s Conservative MS Russell George.

She said: "There has been a significant rise in the number of food banks across Powys over recent years, with child poverty remaining stubbornly high across the whole county.

"With child poverty rates of over 30 per cent, both Montgomeryshire and Brecon and Radnorshire had some of the highest rates in the UK outside of inner cities even before the cost of living crisis began.

Feed a Family:

“Having spoken to a food bank in Newtown, Montgomeryshire, recently they were clear with me that the two challenges they face this autumn and winter were fewer donations and increased demand.

She added: “In particular it was stressed the numbers of young families accessing food banks had increased significantly. A significant number of people accessing food banks are also now in full-time work, including some NHS staff.

“Over the school holidays, the Garth Owen Fish Bar in Newtown started providing free meals to children because families simply didn’t have enough money to feed themselves when free school dinners stopped for the summer. This is a heroic act of community spirit and generosity that inspires us all.

"But it is not acceptable that in the world’s fifth largest economy, families are having to rely on the generosity of the community to make sure their children don’t go hungry.

"It is for this reason I want to see the Welsh Government go further to support community groups, food banks, and small independent businesses, like the ones I’ve spoken to in Montgomeryshire, that are trying to do their best to shield young families from the excesses of the cost of living crisis."

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