Tackling food poverty in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Sometimes we have a question on the Assembly Order paper but time runs out before we can ask that question to the First Minister. In which case we get a short written answer. This happened to me today so the formal written response is as follows:
11. Dawn Bowden (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney): What action is the Welsh Government taking to tackle food poverty in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney? (OAQ53809)
First Minister: We are investing in free school meals and provided additional funding for the Food and Fun / Bwyd a Hwyl programme bringing the total for this year to £900 thousand. Last year the scheme was run in Merthyr and helped mitigate the impact of Universal Credit on deprived households.
In the Chamber I would get the chance for a Supplementary Question which would have been as follows and highlights the impact of Tory austerity on our communities:
“First Minister – I am sure you will agree that the harsh reality of food hunger is a stain on our communities.
in Merthyr Tydfil between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019 8631 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis.
We know that some local housing associations were also taking their own action to help make sure their tenants were fed.
The data from the Trussell Trust follows on from analysis by the ifs which stated that universal credit – and I quote – “still hits the persistently poor more than those who are better off”.
First Minister – given that it is over six months since the UK prime minister claimed that austerity is over, can there be any continuing justification for these unfair and unjust policies that hit the persistently poor hardest?”