- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
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Welsh Labour Conference kicks off in Llandudno today (10/03/23). It’s a chance for members to discuss the Welsh Government’s plan for creating a stronger, fairer and greener country. The strategy aims to develop innovative technologies to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing our communities – from education and healthcare to tackling the climate crisis and creating better jobs.
You can read about it online. The 40-page document contains case studies including Caradoc’s Savoury Biscuits, based in Brecon. Originally set up from a kitchen table by Allie Thomas and her daughter, Ella, the business now supplies supermarkets, delicatessens and online shops, and exports to Europe and beyond. In 2019, the company decided it would be fuelled by a green energy supplier and guided by sustainable values. It also sends any surplus stock to the local food bank.
I support food banks across Mid and West Wales. I know they need all the help they can get right now. I recently read about the mass food drop organised in Llanidloes – wonderful people helping others with the cost-of-living crisis. And the Welsh Government has provided more than £1million to food banks, community food partnerships and hubs.
Before the Conservatives came to power food banks were a marginal service: 41,000 three-day packages were handed out by the country’s largest food bank charity, Trussell Trust, in 2009-10. By 2020-21 it had reached 2.6 million. We have also seen the emergence of ‘warm banks’ – places for people to shelter from sky-high energy prices – and ‘baby banks’, which supply struggling families with everything from clothes and nappies to formula milk and bedding. The Tory banking crisis.
Not that they take responsibility. Quite the opposite. The party’s deputy chairman, Lee Anderson, has accused Britons of “abusing” food banks. People treat them like “the weekly shop” and then go to McDonald’s “two or three times a week,” he claims. This is the same man that last year blamed poor cooking skills, not poverty, for the food bank explosion. What planet is he living on? Shameful. Anyway, doesn’t he know – there are now more food banks in the UK than branches of McDonald’s.
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