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Food Poverty in South Wales: A Call to Action 

The South Wales Food Poverty Alliance new report maps food poverty across South Wales and includes nine calls to action for Welsh Government to end hunger in Welsh communities.

The Alliance's work is partly supported by the Food Power programme. The report was launched at a Bevan Foundation best practice event on Solutions to Holiday Hunger.

The key recommendations from the report include:

  • The need to measure food poverty. If we don’t understand the full extent of the problem, then how can we develop effective solutions?
  • The need to develop holistic solutions to ensure that all children in Wales are adequately fed and nourished
  • The need to use all policy levers to ensure that employers in Wales pay the real Living Wage

The report presents a bleak picture of people trying their best to get by: 

  • In 2017-18, 98,350 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to people in crisis in Wales by food banks in The Trussell Trust network; of these 35,403 went to children. In 2016-17 FareShare Cymru community partners redistributed enough food to contribute to over 1.5 million meals to organisations that help feed people in need. 
  • A fifth of people in Wales are worried about running out of food and 160,000 children in Wales are living in households for whom a healthy diet is increasingly unaffordable.
  • In 2017/18, 24% of children eligible for a free school lunch did not eat one (31% for secondary school children) and across South Wales less than 20% of children accessing free school lunches also accessed a free school breakfast.
  • Reception-age children in Wales are significantly more likely than the Welsh average to be obese if they live in areas of higher deprivation.
  • In some areas of South Wales a third of jobs are paid less than the real Living Wage.

The evidence mapping in the report shows that for a significant number of people living in Welsh communities it is a struggle to put regular, healthy meals on the table for themselves and their families. The South Wales Food Poverty Alliance remains committed to working collectively on this agenda to effect positive change and we hope that this report will stimulate critical thinking, constructive discussion and practical action.

Find out more about the alliance's work and download the report.

Published 6 Feb 2019

Food Power: Food Power is an exciting new programme working with local communities across the UK to strengthen their ability to reduce food poverty.

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