A Powys Foodbank has said it has seen a “massive jump” in need locally over the last few months - leaving its shelves bare.

Rob Field, who works at Welshpool Foodbank has said there has been an almost 20 per cent increase in usage of its services this year as the cost-of-living crisis puts more and more people under financial pressure.

“Up until the end of September we were running something like 17 per cent up but we are now over 20 per cent up, we had an extremely busy October,” said Rob.

“We saw a massive jump and that just kept going - we have seen a higher rise than the national average. You’ve seen more families come in so there’s been more children.”

This jump left the shelves “empty” and required the foodbank to go to the Trussell Trust’s central fund for extra help.


This rise in need was reflected in figures released by the Trussell Trust which shows that the number of food parcels given out in Powys has over doubled in five years to 5,887 packages.

The number of children needing assistance trebled from 730 a year in 2017-2018 to 2,239 in 2022-2023.

“Because the food inflation is so high that I think a lot of people have struggled everybody, like ourselves is having to face much higher energy bills – so even for us it has tripled,” said Rob.

“In the first year we gave out about five tons, I think last year it was 24-25 tons.”

The Welshpool Foodbank, which is also a part of the is available twice a week for anyone with a voucher to use their services and provides “nutritionally balanced” food parcels that las.

“We have around 40 agencies who we work with, we as a foodbank do not refuse people, if they have a voucher and they come to us we will honour that,” added Rob.

“We had around 1400 people through the door last year, which is a lot for such a small town. We cover a massive area here. We cover Foel, halfway towards Oswestry, halfway towards Shrewsbury and beyond Newtown sometimes.”

Rob believes there are multiple reasons why people are using their services.

“There are people with mental health difficulties, some of these people have been abused, manipulated by people all sorts could have happened to them,” said Rob.

“Benefit delays or benefit changes. This usually caused by changes of circumstances or when family structures change then you get this delay.

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“Whilst benefits went up by inflation, which was good, it was overall inflation and food inflation has been a lot higher so it has not been adequate.

“You also get sanctions, if Universal Credit overpay you they want it back. The problem is they take quite a bit and people are just left with no recourse to anything.

"Many of these things happen just because someone has put the wrong figure. But the vast majority is just because they don’t have enough to live on.”

Recently the food bank has seen a “small dip” in donations as everyone “feels the pinch”.

However they have said they have amazing support from “both sides of the political aisle” and that they have had local businesses, schools and churches go “above and beyond” to help.