Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice
As energy prices continue to rise and people struggle with the impact of rising inflation on their household income, local authorities, food banks and community support groups across Wales are reporting a rise in the number of people accessing food banks and other community food provision. In some areas, organisations have experienced more than 100% increase in demand for emergency food. At the same time, as a result of the cost of living crisis, organisations have experienced a drop in donations.
As part of our commitment to prioritise support for people affected by the cost of living crisis, today I am announcing a further £1 million for tackling food poverty. This additional funding builds on the £3.9 million allocated already this financial year by the Welsh Government to help alleviate food poverty and tackle the root causes of food poverty.
The funding will support community food organisations to overcome barriers to accessing sufficient supplies. It will enable them to purchase food, baby products such as milk and other essential goods such as period products and cleaning products which will help facilitate and maintain well-being, healthy diets and personal dignity.
The funding can also be used to support initiatives such as baby banks, clothes banks and uniform banks. It can also be used to purchase and distribute warms goods packs and equipment which will help keep vulnerable people warm this winter.
The funding can support initiatives which will help families save money on food by building their food knowledge and skills, for example, through the delivery of cooking sessions where households are provided with food and recipes as well as cooking equipment such as slow cookers or pressure cookers.
The funding can also be used to support action to maximise income and increase the uptake of benefits such as Healthy Start vouchers and initiatives which support households to pay essential bills such as our Welsh Government Fuel Support Scheme and our Fuel Voucher and Heat Fund Scheme.
The additional £1m will be distributed through local authorities in Wales in the coming weeks. Organisations that might wish to benefit from this support should contact their local authority to discuss.