THE use of foodbanks in the Vale of Glamorgan has increased over the past year.

The latest figures from The Trussel Trust show that between April 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017, a total of 1,625 three day emergency food parcels were distributed in the Vale compared to 1,557 in the same period in 2016.

In 2017, 1,036 food supplies went to adults and 589 to children compared to 1,002 for adults and 555 for children last year.

A total of 43,059 supplies were distributed in Wales between April and September this year which is up from 41,384 in the same period last year.

This is a four per cent increase with 15,220 of these going to children.

The charity is concerned the situation will worsen in the months leading to Christmas when demand for food traditionally spikes, and when the number of foodbanks in areas of full Universal Credit service will increase across Wales.

Tony Graham, Wales director at The Trussell Trust, said: "We are still seeing increasing demand at foodbanks across Wales driven by the inadequacy of income levels and issues with benefit payments, and this is ahead of the acceleration of full Universal Credit rollout.

"Foodbanks in Scotland and England already experiencing full rollout are sharing serious concerns about the effect of the six week wait, poor administration and inability of the advance payment system to support everyone on no income.

"We must act on these insights now to ensure the story is different in Wales.

"Our network is working hard to stop people going hungry but the simple truth is that even with the enormous generosity of our donors and volunteers, we’re concerned Welsh foodbanks could struggle to meet demand if we see the scale of increased foodbank use seen in full Universal Credit areas elsewhere.

"People cannot be left for weeks without any income, and when that income does come, it must keep pace with living costs – foodbanks cannot be relied upon to pick up the pieces."

A DWP spokesman said: "The reasons for food bank use are wide and complex, and for this report to link it to any one issue would be misleading.

"We’re clear that advance payments are widely available from the start of anyone’s UC claim, and urgent cases are fast-tracked so no one should be without funds.

"We know the majority of UC claimants are confident in managing their money.

"Budgeting support and direct rent payments to landlords are also available to those who need them."