- May 12, 2016
- Posted by: Mark Drakeford AM
- Category: Cardiff West News
Cardiff Foodbank, together with energy supplier Npower, launched the first ever Fuel Bank in Cardiff on Monday May 16th. The scheme gives Foodbank users with pre-payment meters vouchers for gas or electricity, so they do not have to choose between ‘heating and eating’.
Cardiff Foodbank helped over 12,000 people last year, including around 3,890 children under 16. 31% of people used the Foodbank due to delays in receiving their benefits and 25% were people in work, but on low incomes. These 12,000 include Charlie, who says the Foodbank helped clear his debts and before the Fuelbank he “ate the tinned goods cold, straight from the tin” as he had no gas to cook with. The Tory Government in Westminster has forced low wages and unemployment and the Labour Party support ridding all people in Wales of Tory-led poverty.
The Fuel Bank gives people around two weeks’ worth of energy, the value of the voucher will fluctuate between the winter and summer months: from April to end October the value will be £30 and this will increase to £49 from 1st November to 31st March. People will have a warm meal and they will also be able to shower and heat their homes, having an enormous benefit it terms of health and wellbeing. It means that households which run out of energy on prepaid meters can have the power back on within hours and have no need to worry for 2 weeks. Research from existing Fuelbanks has shown that 30% of people who use Fuel Banks have a health condition which is worsened by the cold. We believe that the right to food and shelter for those in need is paramount and Labour fully supports a Fuelbank in Cardiff.