THE NUMBER of emergency food supplies given out by food banks in Pembrokeshire have increased by nearly 11 per cent in the last year.

In Pembrokeshire, the latest figures show that 1,631 emergency food supplies were given to local people by the Trussell Trust-seeded Pembrokeshire Foodbank in the last year and that over 669 went to children.

In 2016-17, 1,473 emergency food supplies were given out, the latest figures representing a 10.72 per cent increase.

The previous year saw 1,302 emergency food supplies given out, meaning demand has increased a staggering 25 per cent in just two years.

The number of emergency food supplies given out Pembrokeshire is significantly higher due to the essential work of the local independent foodbank, PATCH. The Trussell Trust-seeded Pembrokeshire Foodbank and PATCH actively collaborate, allowing those in need to redeem food vouchers and access services in any foodbank centre across the county. Over the last year, local people have donated 12 tonnes of food to Pembrokeshire’s four Trussell Trust Foodbanks (Haverfordwest, Pembroke Dock, Letterston, Narberth) and over 50 people have volunteered for the charity.

As well as providing emergency food, Pembrokeshire Foodbank provides essentials like toiletries to individuals who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the local area.

PATCH also provides clothing and small household goods.

Theri Bailey, foodbank manager of the Pembrokeshire Foodbank said: “It is deeply concerning that we saw an increase in the number of three day emergency food supplies provided to local people in crisis in Pembrokeshire over the last year.

“Anybody could find themselves in need of the foodbank. Every week people are referred to us after being hit by something unavoidable – such as illness, a delay in a benefit payment or an unexpected bill.

“It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it matters most, and we hope that one day there will be no need for us in Pembrokeshire. But until that day comes, we will continue to offer the best possible service to help local people facing a crisis.

“Thank you so much to everyone in Pembrokeshire who already donates time, food and money to help local people. If you’re not already involved, we’d love to hear from you.”

Milford Haven-based hardship charity PATCH has seen a nine per cent increase in food parcels from 2016-17.

PATCH manager Tracy Olin said: “In 2017 we gave five-day food parcels to people 3,822 times which equals 57,330 meals.

“Hard to compare with Trussell Trust as they give three days.”

She added: “We've given clothing 359 times and household items 362 times. Clothing can be a pair of shoes up to a whole new wardrobe. Mostly we give to people in a new property to people that have nothing.

“The previous year 2016 we gave: food 3,498 times, clothing 431, and household 436.

“The drop in household is a surprise, but we can see that people who come for household actually need more items.

“We are 10 years old in a few weeks (June 3) and I believe now we are well known to referrals and very much an established charity the stats are more accurate. 

“I have done this type of work for 18 years now and the clients stories are more upsetting than ever before.”

The county’s foodbanks are: Haverfordwest: Hill Park Baptist Church, Tuesdays 10am-1pm; Narberth: Grace Court House, Wednesdays 11am-2pm; Letterston: St Giles Church Hall, Thursdays 11am-2pm; Pembroke Dock: Bethel Baptist Church, Thursdays 10am-2pm.

For further information see

For further information on PATCH see