THE UNITED Reformed Church and the Trussell Trust, Wales, will be challenging the growing crisis of food poverty in Wales by hosting a “Breadline Question Time” event on Friday, July 4, 8 - 10pm, at City United Reformed Church, Windsor Place, Cardiff.

Panellists including Penarth MP Stephen Doughty and charity executives will debate the increasing rise of foodbank usage and the impact of food poverty on families in Wales.

The event follows a damning report by Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and the Trussell Trust that reveals the use of foodbanks in Wales to be disproportionately high in relation to the population. Tens of thousands of people are living below the breadline in Wales, relying on foodbanks to feed themselves and their families. In the 2013 – 2014 financial year, 51,148 adults and 27, 901 children relied on Trussell Trust foodbanks in Wales. Housing benefit cuts and changes to council tax support has, according to research undertaken by Oxfam and the New Policy Institute, left 1.75 million of the poorest families in the UK significantly worse off.

Tony Graham, Trussell Trust foodbank network manager, Wales, said: “The Welsh population has been hit hard by welfare cuts, falling incomes, high unemployment and a rise in living costs. In the past year we have witnessed a 120 percent rise in the use of Trussell Trust foodbanks over the previous financial year.

“We’re doing our best to help the 79,049 people who have relied on our foodbanks in the last year alone, but we also need to be asking why this is happening? I’m hoping that Friday’s debate will offer a platform to highlight the facts about food poverty and bring about a better understanding of the reality of life for people struggling on low incomes, so that politicians of all parties can push through policies that help the poorest.”

Cardiff South and Penarth MP, Stephen Doughty said: “In far too many cases, hard-working families in my constituency – as is the case right across the country – are finding that there is just too much month left at the end of their money.