The Injustice of Food Banks

food-bank

No Matter where you go it is difficult to escape or avoid any of the great social injustices here in the UK, one of the reasons that I cannot understand the lack of outrage concerning many of these grave social wrongs to which most people remain oblivious. Why aren’t people marching in their thousands, even their millions, down to parliament and demanding the Tories get out of government, demanding a cessation of the unfair treatment of people on benefits –  the sick and disabled, the unemployed and the low paid – an end to austerity, and tax evasion by corporations, to name some of the most prominent of injustices in the UK today.

One of signs of these injustices concerns the proliferation of food banks.

My husband and son enjoy visiting old churches and other historic buildings and in many of these churches you will find a collection point for local food banks, which shows that the problem is more serious than we are led to believe if we are under the impression that it is the Throstle Trust alone which distributes food to poor people here in the UK. You would also be amazed at the places you come across that collect for local people who cannot afford to buy food most likely as a result of low wages and Tory welfare reforms including benefit sanctions, and other austerities. In some cases these may be quite affluent areas of the country, such as the Cumbrian Lake District.

According to research by the independent two thirds of people relying on food banks  blamed benefit sanctions, while 12 per cent said cuts to welfare were the reasons that they were forced to use food banks. Low wages are also to blame.

The fact that people here in the UK one of the richest countries in the world need to reply on food banks or go hungry shames us. The fact that few people question this outrage shames us.

Food banks supply food for three days only  – this applies to The Throssle Trust food banks, I have no information concerning other food banks.

Though food banks are of great importance, as they fill the crack left by this great social injustice here in the UK where people go hungry while shops are bursting with food in abundance, the fact remains that people here in one of the richest countries in the world are struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Learn more about The Trussell Trust
http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects

In the year after we celebrated the Queen becoming the longest reigning monarch, exceeding the reign of Queen Victoria, perhaps we should also note that for many people here in the UK food banks, as a result of government policy, are returning us to the Victorian age of poverty and destitution.

In one of the richest countries in the world, why are we tolerating a situation where food banks are needed? The Tories have dragged this country back to the Victorian era, while their donors and corporations are not even paying their taxes,  poor, sick and disabled people are being driven to poverty and degradation. This shames every one of us who is content to let this happen, though there surely can be few of us who are not somehow affected by what the Tories have done since they came into power.

The three main reasons people are referred to food banks are 1) benefit delays, 2) low income, and 3) benefit changes.

If people were paid a living wage and not exploited with poor wages then benefits for working people would not need to exist in the first place, benefits that are in any case so inadequate and may be sanctioned at any time for no good reason. Low wages and inadequate benefits drive people to use food banks. In a just society where sick and disabled people were getting enough income to live on, food banks would not be needed. It is only since Tory welfare cuts have food banks risen to the enormous extent that they are today.

Please speak out against this grave social injustice and write to your MP today

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/contacting-your-mp/

Latest news concerning food banks

Welcome to the bank where financial advice is free – it’s a food bank
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/jan/30/financial-advice-food-bank-struggling-people-guidance

This is all well and good but for people who are on sanctions with zero money coming in or a very low-income managing money advice is irrelevant of course – you cannot manage what you do not have.Benefits even when receiving the full rate and these days few people are, are grossly inadequate.  Advice to people under the threat of sanctions of course is a good thing as is help and advice applying for what puny benefits are available. But although well meaning and in many cases a great asset to many, the real solution is to do something about benefits cuts and low wages.

Britons driven to food banks by poverty seen as ‘collateral damage’ by DWP, says Trussell Trust
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britons-driven-to-food-banks-by-poverty-seen-as-collateral-damage-by-dwp-says-trussell-trust-a6794101.html

Related Links

Trussell Trust Scots food bank referrals top 60,000
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34849661

Benefit sanctions hit 100,000 children – time to rethink sanctions
http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/rethinksanctions

Dear Richard Littlejohn: Please Don’t Pretend That Hunger and Poverty Are Not Real, Right Here, Right Now
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sarah-chapman/foodbanks-richard-littlejohn_b_8123772.html

Food bank use is “strange” during an obesity crisis, claims Tory health minister
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/food-bank-use-strange-during-6911248

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Injustice of Food Banks

  1. Like you I cannot understand why we’re not all marching to storm Parliament – the Tories’ most cynical catchphrase has to be, “We’re all in it together”. It’s appalling what they’ve managed to do to this country in the space of 6 years. We so need PR.

  2. I so agree, I dread to think what this country will be like after four more years of Tory government. I fear for the future for all of us. I can well envison an end to the welfare state and the NHS and all the progress of the last sixty years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s