The number of food parcels given out in Wales has hit a record high as household incomes in Wales fell by an average of £80 per month over the past year.

Office of National Statistics figures from 2009/10 to 2010/11 say average UK weekly income fell from £373 to £359, with average household income in Wales 12% lower than the country as a whole.

At the same time over the past year, the number given food parcels in Wales has reached a record 23,000 and new food banks have been opening all over the country.

Charity, The Trussell Trust, which runs some food banks, says nearly one in four of the families it assists have some money coming in, but not enough.

One of their locations, Flintshire Food Bank, only opened in May but has already helped 400 people, giving them three meals a day on three days a week.

Founder Andy Leake said: "People come whose benefit has been stopped for assessment. When their family tax credit gets stopped suddenly they find themselves with no money in the bank.

"People who have lost their jobs sign on for jobseeker's allowance - a six week waiting gap. If you've got no family and no savings, what do you do? How do you feed your family?

Food banks have recently opened in Wrexham, Denbigh, Caernarfon and Pwllheli, with another three due in Abergavenny, Chepstow and the Vale of Glamorgan.

To be eligible for a parcel, a person or family has to considered in need by a charity or agency and given a voucher, which they present to the food bank.

Click here to readthe full document Measuring National Well-being - Personal Finance 2012

Posted 02/10/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com