Food Banks : Trussells & Related News / Guidance / Others Rallying To The Cause

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
121 posts
Today's Independent ... similiar article :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 18776.html

200,000 children from poorest household hit by benefit cap, figures reveal

The policy, described as 'chilling' by anti-poverty campaigners, mainly affects households with children aged under five, statistics show


Alison Garnham, chief executive of the CPAG, said: ““As a matter of our basic decency, it’s cruel to deny children what the government knows is the financial support needed for the basic essentials in life, such as food and clothes.”


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Wiltshire Gazette , letter from a reader ... worth reporting verbatim :


CONGRATULATIONS to the volunteers and supporters of Devizes Foodbank for their persistence in finding a new venue as reported in Gazette & Herald last week.

However, I am shocked at the audacity of Claire Perry MP, who stood laughing at the centre of the picture celebrating their success.

Yes, I understand that it was through her intervention that the supporters got a positive response from the hospital trust but it is the policies of her party that have pushed people into poverty and thus necessitating increasing use of foodbanks in the first place.

Trussell Trust data show that benefit delays and changes remain the biggest causes of foodbank use, accounting for 42 per cent of all referrals.

Foodbanks report that the other main issues that cause working people to be referred are low wages, insecure work (zero hours contracts), high living costs and problems accessing working benefits.

We hear now that even our nurses are going to foodbanks!

We are one of the richest countries in the world and yet under Claire Perry’s government, more and more people are turning to foodbanks.

Where is all our wealth going? Certainly not into working people’s pockets.

This is no cause for celebration.

JOAN BARNETT
Eastcott



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A double header ... in reply to a comment on Question Time , David McAuley , Huffpost UK :


“I haven’t visited a foodbank before, but I have known people that have. And the vast majority of them that do go for free food, smoke, drink, and have Sky television [groans from the rest of the audience]. That is the truth.”

Unlike this gentleman, I have visited lots of foodbanks in my time leading The Trussell Trust. Our network of 420+ foodbanks nationwide have told me some stories of their own.

In Merseyside, Maria was referred to a Trussell Trust foodbank because her first paycheck came five weeks after her last benefit payment.

In Newcastle, a man needed a food parcel after a serious spinal injury meant he couldn’t continue doing the job he’d done for 33 years and couldn’t get a new one.

In Brent, a mum came to us after being made redundant, borrowing all she could from family, but realising there was nowhere else she could turn.

In the last year, Trussell Trust foodbanks provided 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. 436,938 of these went to children.

The fact that over a third of the emergency supplies given by our foodbank network goes to children is conveniently overlooked by the narratives that are so often used to stereotype people who have needed a foodbank and downplay the seriousness of UK hunger.

You can’t just turn up at a foodbank’s doors because you spent all your money on Sky TV.

Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional, like a health visitor, who has assessed and referred someone because they are in genuine need of emergency food.

There’s a process in place, to make sure that foodbank vouchers only go to people who really need them.

If this gentleman had been to a foodbank, he would know that going to a foodbank is a last resort when all other coping strategies have been exhausted.

It takes courage to admit you cannot feed your family.

People wait on the other side of the road for half an hour, or stand outside in the cold, before finally walking through the foodbank door.

We must stop talking about people who are at their lowest point as scroungers and skivers who have brought the situation on themselves.

It’s not the truth.

Anybody can need a foodbank. All it takes is to be hit by something unavoidable, like redundancy, illness, a delayed welfare payment or even an unexpected bill on a low pay.

Last week I spoke to a man who had been a qualified engineer for almost 40 years - he’d been happily married, had never been in debt, never signed on for welfare payments.

He was a regular guy.

However I was speaking to him because he’d needed a foodbank.

After being made redundant from his job at the age of 50, he struggled to find new work and signed up for Universal Credit, the new system of delivering benefits.

He was referred to one of the foodbanks in our network when the six week wait for his first payment meant he ran out of money for food.

There’s nothing he could’ve done differently - it was outside of his control.

He never thought he’d need the help of a foodbank.

No one ever does.

Because nobody’s planning to go.

There’s a vast amount of research on foodbank use - and all of it points towards the simple fact that people are referred to a foodbank when something they could not plan for or expect, hits and leaves no money for food.

Let’s be honest - this debate about smoking, drinking, and foodbank use is a serious distraction from the real issue of poverty and hunger in the UK.

Almost 1.2 million foodbank supplies given out is just too many.

It’s an uncomfortable truth.

But instead of dealing with that by trying to downplay, undermine, or dismiss foodbank use by placing blame on people who have been hit by something outside of their control, we should instead be debating what we must do as a nation to look for solutions which mean less people need foodbanks in the future.

The Trussell Trust is determined to see the need for foodbanks decrease and the Department for Work and Pensions thinks so too - they’re working with us to try and find practical solutions to the problem of food poverty in the UK today.

If the gentleman in the Question Time audience had visited a foodbank, he would know how wide of the mark his statement is and how much it misses the real point.


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Is there one now open on YOUR manor ?

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During the Miners Strike , neighbours were at one another's throats here in Worksop ... virtually 50 / 50 ... Scargill / Nottinghamshire ... when it came to feeding striking miners and their families , differences were forgotten ... the Dispute was one thing , and it WAS bitter .... humanitarian needs another.

No miner , nor his family , was left to starve .... grass roots .... grass roots !

Something a little lost on the present Government ???????


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Judging by the numbers , readers viewing this thread are increasing which is definately a BAD sign.

The only good that can come out of it is for the message to be spread !

My only regret ? Having to start the Thread in the first place !

2017 .... and this is actual reality for far too many !
Just to record that , following my direct contact last year , and concerns expressed by a couple of local carer groups , Trussells are still working on some type of scheme for those caught by rising oil and propane gas charges for heating to work alongside their prepayment meter scheme.

Obviously , good news for some readers , especially those in rural areas.

I will post when anymore news comes in.
Today's Guardian ....

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... he-uk-ifan

Report reveals scale of food bank use in the UK

Project by Independent Food Aid Network finds at least 2,000 food banks giving out parcels, with demand continuing to grow


There are at least 2,000 food banks operating in the UK, giving out emergency food parcels on a weekly basis to people in hardship, according to research that shines fresh light on the rapid growth of charity food provision in austerity Britain.

The research complements established information on UK food bank use compiled by the Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, which collects extensive data from its members and recently reported that it gave out a record 1.2m food parcels to families and individuals in need in 2016-17, the ninth successive year in which demand had risen.

Emerging results from the mapping project undertaken by the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), confirm that the Trussell figures represent only a partial picture of the scale of organised food bank provision, and suggest that the level of food bank use is far greater than headline figures indicate.

Ifan’s findings, seen by the Guardian, suggest that there are at least 651 grassroots food banks operating independently of the Trussell network, ranging from tiny voluntary groups that give out a few food parcels each week, to larger charity operations that hand out thousands of parcels to hundreds of clients each year.

Prof Jon May, of Queen Mary University of London and chair of Ifan, said the figures emphasised the rapid rise in the number of food banks over the past five years, and the changing geography of poverty. “There are now food banks in almost every community, from the East End of London to the Cotswolds. The spread of food banks maps growing problems of poverty across the UK, but also the growing drive among many thousands of people across the country to try and do something about those problems”.

Frank Field, the Labour MP, a veteran poverty campaigner and chair of the Feeding Britain charity, welcomed the figures, and called on the next government to do more to understand the scale of hunger and food insecurity. “These figures show the tide of hunger sweeping the UK. It’s another piece in the jigsaw puzzle of destitution in this country.”

The study counts the 1,373 distribution centres that operate out of Trussell trust’s 419 food banks in its figures alongside the 651 “independents” to make a total of 2,024 food banks. It defines a food bank as an organisation that gives out food parcels on a weekly basis. It does not include informal food parcel distribution by social welfare charities, children’s centres, churches, housing associations, hospitals and other groups.


There is also a tombstone of food banks available within the article ... 651 listed by town / post code independent of the Trussells network.

A true indictment of conditions in today's Sad New World.
Interesting reply from Hugh McNeil to Dominic Raab's comments on foodbanks being a mere cash flow problem :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... y-foodbank

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Could any of us last without any money coming in for almost half a year?


Well worth a couple of minutes of any reader's time ...

There is no “typical user” of a food bank. Anybody can need a food bank’s help. The only thing that unites the people referred to us is that there’s no money for food, and there may not have been for days. Every week I meet people who turn to us when they have nowhere else to go for help, people coming to us as a last resort. I’ve spoken to working parents, people with long-term disabilities who cannot physically work, people who have been made redundant and never thought they would be in this situation. Furthermore, a third of the emergency food we provide goes to children – something often overlooked when people start talking about “typical food bank users”.


Comments section at the bottom .... 558 as I type.
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No acknowledgement of food banks during our recent online exchange with Helena , CEO.

Make of that what you will ....

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Today's Guardian .... results of a Oxford University study :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... o-increase

Biggest ever study of food banks warns use likely to increase


Oxford University research finds that poverty and hunger are all too real for a growing number of British people


Truly depressing reading .... what else would any reader expect ?

If reading this post , note the number of times said Thread has been read.

What does that simple fact imply ?

In both CarerLand and CareeLand , a daily way of life for many ... and yet , not a whisper from our supporting organisations ....

One can hardly expect any of their employees to have first hand experience of life as it is for so many of our fellow carers .... can we ?

I wonder what any reader , having used a food bank , makes of the food on display at Carers UK hq displayed on their Facebook page in support of " Carers Week " ?

A case of a picture telling anyone more than words where priorities lie ?

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An interlocking article from Frances Ryan from the same source :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ngly-clear

“It is sometimes scoffed at, but the fact is, there is much greater awareness of food banks than was the case previously,” the new welfare and pensions secretary, David Gauke, remarked last week when asked about the rise in food bank use. Gauke was announcing that the benefit freeze would remain in place despite rising food prices. With little sense of irony, he did it over a lobby lunch.


Again , not pleasant reading but the right questions are being asked of those with the ability to act.
BBC TV also talking about this today.
Momentum ... at last.

One has the impression that the tide is , indeed , turning.

It has taken a combination of factors , including one disaster , to finally join the pieces together.

The ordinary populace are stirring .... and there's nothing more dangerous to the Establishment.

First recourse will be to throw more scraps to given the impression of concern.

Hopefully , the populace will see through that for what it would be.

Interesting times ... at long last ?
121 posts