BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith is appealing for help from those who can afford to make donations ahead of what is expected to be the busiest summer yet for foodbanks across the UK.

The Trussell Trust has said it is anticipating an increase in demand at foodbanks this summer as families who are already on an extremely tight budget find themselves struggling.

Figures released earlier this year revealed that Blaenau Gwent Foodbank provided 5043 three day emergency food parcels in the 12 months up to March 2019, a 17% increase on the previous year.

The Trussell Trust says that delays and gaps in Universal Credit and other benefits are the primary cause of more and more people seeking help.

Nick Smith MP said: “I know that people in Blaenau Gwent are always very generous with their donations, but it would be great if we could all give a little extra this summer.
“Children everywhere are breaking up from school and it’s a sad fact that many parents will be dreading the thought of the extra costs they will be facing – especially if they usually receive free school meals or need to pay for child care.
“It shouldn’t be this way. People are being failed by the Government’s disastrous Universal Credit system, disabled people are being failed by cold and cruel PIP assessments and too many people are in jobs which simply do not pay them enough to live on.
“There is no excuse for this to carry on and the Labour Party will continue to fight for a future where people do not need to rely on foodbanks.
“In the meantime if anyone can afford to donate a few extra items in the coming weeks we can do our best to help families who may otherwise have a very difficult summer.”

Wayne Evans, of the Blaenau Gwent foodbank management and media team, said: “There are lots of families struggling in Blaenau Gwent and it does get busier during the summer.
“We’re always looking for extra items and we want to be able to help people as much as we can during the summer period.
“It would be very helpful if Blaenau Gwent residents continue to donate when they can.”

Donations to the foodbank can be made at Blaenau Gwent’s Tesco and Asda stores and also at the distribution centres in Abertillery, Beaufort, Nantyglo, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.

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