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Charles and Camilla hear stories of families in need during foodbank visit

The Trussell Trust supports 1,300 foodbank centres across the UK which last year provided 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis.

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall with volunteers (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall with volunteers (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall with volunteers (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall heard moving tales of domestic violence and poverty when they visited a foodbank.

Charles and Camilla went to Wandsworth Foodbank and hailed the work of staff and volunteers distributing food to between 100 and 120 crisis-hit households per week on average in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

The couple spoke in private to families, at St Mark’s Church in Battersea Rise, near Clapham Junction, who have received help from a team of more than 250 volunteers operating out of seven welcome centres for the foodbank,  operated by the Trussell Trust.

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall look at donated items during a visit to Wandsworth Foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall look at donated items during a visit to Wandsworth Foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall look at donated items during a visit to Wandsworth Foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The prince and his wife, who donated a trolley full of Waitrose Duchy Originals food to the centre, praised volunteers for helping more than 2,500 households referred by social services, schools, GPs and other agencies last year.

“Thank you so much all your fantastic efforts,” the prince told them.

They heard how families receiving assistance from foodbanks typically have £248 per month to spend after paying rent .

Rachel Antelme, referrals coordinator, told Camilla that domestic violence was also a common reason for women getting referred to the foodbank.

Ms Antelme said: “We see quite a lot of victims of domestic abuse being referred to us,” she said. “Often they’ve left home with no clothes, no access to a bank account, and some of them don’t speak English either.”

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Charles speaks to a volunteer during his tour of the foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Charles speaks to a volunteer during his tour of the foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

PA

Charles speaks to a volunteer during his tour of the foodbank (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The royal couple were told that the Government’s decision to remove a temporary £20 uplift in Universal Credit two months ago had also led to a surge in cases.

Charles and Camilla met chefs Ben Williams and Will Griffiths who set up a pizza restaurant, Love Triangle in Balham, south London, at the start of the pandemic and by Christmas will have given £35,000 to the foodbank, donating 70p per pizza sale.

Camilla said she was impressed and added: “They are crying out for chefs at the moment so I believe. My son works with restaurants and he says there’s a desperate shortage.”

The Reverend Martyn Layzell, Vicar of St Mark’s, hailed the royal visit as a morale booster for the foodbank’s staff and volunteers.

“Who needs a staff Christmas party when we can all gather in this way?” he asked.

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