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BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times

GUEST,Eliza 13 Jun 13 - 03:49 PM
selby 13 Jun 13 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jun 13 - 06:19 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM
GUEST 13 Jun 13 - 11:32 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jun 13 - 04:48 AM
akenaton 14 Jun 13 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,VaTam on break 14 Jun 13 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,CS 14 Jun 13 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Jun 13 - 03:16 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 13 - 04:01 PM
akenaton 14 Jun 13 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Jun 13 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,CS 14 Jun 13 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Jun 13 - 06:06 PM
Ebbie 14 Jun 13 - 06:41 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 13 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Musket sans belief 15 Jun 13 - 02:07 AM
theleveller 15 Jun 13 - 04:18 AM
selby 15 Jun 13 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Eliza 15 Jun 13 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 15 Jun 13 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,Musket sans Ian 15 Jun 13 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,cujimmy 01 Aug 13 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 01 Aug 13 - 06:17 AM

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Subject: BS: Food banks in UK
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 03:49 PM

Our church collects all sorts of food in tins and packets, which is taken away for a Food Bank. Yesterday a gentleman from this depot came to our Women's Friendly Hour and gave us a most interesting talk. I was saddened and shocked in equal measure. They have passed on ten tons of food since January. The needy comprise all sorts of people, rough sleepers, people whose Benefits have taken too long to process, people made redundant with hefty bills to pay, elderly folk who can't buy oil unless they cut back on food. Many of their customers have several children. He stressed that all these unfortunate folk have absolutely NO food in the house, not even a biscuit. They are actually HUNGRY. It's unbelievable. And this depot has five branches all over Norfolk, each run by a team of about 40 volunteers. No-one pays them they receive no Government funding and rely totally on donations from churches like ours. Some of his stories would make you weep. I was pleased to hear that Tesco helps with vouchers and 'donation days', offering a third again in credit for all the food bought by contributors at their store. The chap said that in the USA there are many of these Food Banks, and also in Canada. Isn't it absolutely dreadful that folk find themselves in this situation?


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: selby
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 04:12 PM

The web address below gives information on the 8 food banks in Sheffield, the system has been operating up her for a long time.

http://www.sheffieldfoodbank.org.uk/

Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 06:19 PM

It's as if people are reduced to refugee status. I'm afraid I had no idea of the extent of the problem. I've been donating food for our church collection assuming it's for the homeless, but the range of different types of need is astonishing, it makes me think of the 'Poor Relief' system in Dickens' times. The heartening thing is that, at the distribution centres, they have armchairs, cups of tea and a kindly listening ear, so that people can unburden themselves a little. There's no judgment or criticism, just support. Why can't the government get involved, at least with a bit of funding? I do think it's scandalous in this day and age that people are actually going hungry with nowhere to turn. I have to say that some of our 'ladies' were disapproving, and felt the recipients were feckless and improvident. But even the 'feckless' need to eat, and not everyone can manage their lives adequately. I expect,selby, that if these outlets are found in Norfolk and also Sheffield, then they're pretty widespread. Shameful state of affairs IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 08:23 PM

Once upon a time we had a welfare state. But the arrogant posh boys have systematically demolished it. It suits the 1% for the rest to be terrified of destitution. It makes us more tractable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jun 13 - 11:32 PM

Then destroy the fuckers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 04:48 AM

I guess we got our privately-funded homeless shelters and food lockers in the US back in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan cut what few programs we had for the needy. Seems to me that Margaret Thatcher did the same thing in the UK, but maybe more drastically.

I think it should be the responsibility of government to ensure adequate food and housing for all. However, I have to say that privately-funded food and housing services have a far more personal approach than a government agency could have. Our local food banks and homeless shelters are really wonderful - but they are able to serve only a small portion of the people who need their help.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 10:45 AM

Fuck off Richard, we were all complicit in what happened to the economy.
No one forced us to buy houses we couldn't afford at massive discounts to make us all good little capitalists.

Most of us bought into the lies. We couldn't all be "posh boys", but we all wanted to be "rich boys".....didn't we?

We will never make progress while people like you are so polarised.
Capitalism makes beasts of us ALL....only when we learn that truth can we effect real change.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,VaTam on break
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 11:11 AM

There are some food banks in UK which are currently refusing food parcels to the homeless and to anyone who has lost benefit for any reason.   "Not getting benefit, don't have a place to live? Sorry we can't help you."

Below picked up from http://lewishamcampaigner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/hounslow-food-bank-by-letter-to-chair.html

snip

A new council-run foodbank in Hounslow has rules stating that they will not give food to people with "chaotic lifestyles" or those who have had their benefits sanctioned.
Hounslow Community Foodbox was recently set up in a partnership between Hounslow Council and local tenants and resident groups. It is chaired by Labour Party councillor Steve Curran.
According to its website, the foodbank was set up for people who find themselves in a financial crisis which leaves them with insufficient means to buy food.
However reading through the criteria of who is eligible for a food voucher, the site attaches a disclaimer:
    "Those persons who are in constant difficulties due to chaotic lifestyles will not qualify for a voucher.
    "People do not have to be on benefits to qualify for a voucher but they must have recourse to public funds.
    "Anyone who has a delay/reduction in benefits or has been refused a crisis loan which causes them to struggle to buy food should contact the Jobcentre.
    "People who are under sanctions from the Jobcentre are ineligible for a voucher."

end snip

I heard from a man who stopped at our anti-bedroom tax leafleting table last Saturday that there is a council in Essex doing the same thing, but I didn't catch the name of the council.

A terrifying predicament to be one of "the undeserving poor."


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 01:22 PM

Such a policy - purposefully excluding the most needy - is a complete and utter disgrace!

On a similar line I recall reading not so long ago of certain councils disallowing soup kitchens to operate on their turf, probably for similar reasons, to keep the homeless and destitute from cluttering up the pavements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 03:16 PM

Fortunately, (and unlike Hounslow!) the Dereham, Norfolk Food Bank is completely non-judgmental, and people come for all sorts of reasons. I'd have thought that folk with 'chaotic lifestyles' are the very ones who need support. Apparently there are twenty or so agencies who deal with the needy and give them a voucher. It's those trying to get Benefits who suffer. It takes weeks to sort out their money (I know this is true from my work with prisoners and ex-offenders.) What ARE they supposed to eat in the meantime? There are several categories of boxes, for a single person, a couple, one child, two children and so on. We also donate nappies (diapers), milk formula, baby food, shampoo, toilet paper etc which go in a huge crate for people to take out what they need. I still feel very upset and choked-up about this. Not a penny from the Government, and left literally to beg, steal or starve! In the 21st Century! I'm proud to say that the gentleman told us the whole of Norfolk is amazingly supportive and generous, thank goodness. I shall do all I can to donate each week, but the point is that this should be addressed at Government level.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 04:01 PM

Ake, include me out. I only ever bought "up" in housing because her indoors wanted to. It was nearly my undoing, but I'm OK thanks, even if not rich. This war against the havenots is not fuelled by me, my lifestyle or my votes.

I am quite amazed to see Eliza making sense. Normally she says that sexual immorality leads to its own fate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: akenaton
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 05:21 PM

Well, i didn't mean you personally Richard.....and we have at last found something in which we fully concur!


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 05:37 PM

I can't quite see the connection, Richard, between 'sexual immorality' and Food Banks, and I'm sure I have never discussed both on the same thread. The unfortunate recipients of the food boxes may or may not lead sexually immoral lives, who could know? But thank you for being amazed that I am 'making sense'. Naturally IMO I usually do, but obviously you would disagree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 05:43 PM

"I have to say that some of our 'ladies' were disapproving, and felt the recipients were feckless and improvident. But even the 'feckless' need to eat, and not everyone can manage their lives adequately. "

If you're poor and indulge a little too heavily, it's morally condemned as fecklessness, but if you're rich and indulge a little too heavily, it's roundly celebrated as living life to the full!


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 06:06 PM

Over the many decades I've lived, I've seen several different walks of life. I've come to the conclusion that misfortune can strike at anyone at any time, and people find themselves in situations they cannot rectify or control. The elderly 'ladies' in our Group who disapproved a little were lucky enough to be brought up not in wealth (some were in fact quite badly-off as youngsters) but in families who managed their meagre resources and never went short. But today, some of the Food Bank recipients may not have had such good habits instilled in them. They may be unable to cope with financial hardship, may be unable to make cheap food last by clever cooking, may be inadequate in some way, may be coping with addiction, mental illness, abuse, who can tell? That isn't 'feckless' it's 'unfortunate and sad'. Such folk must still eat. But apparently the range, age and type of recipient is wide. Debt, joblessness, eviction,poverty, Benefits delays, homelessness, all these situations can render a person in need of help. I just feel so sad that, but for the noble volunteers, they'd be absolutely stuck with not a crumb of food to eat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 06:41 PM

I can't imagine anyone or any organization in the USA, private or public, turning anyone down for a 'food parcel' on the basis of life style, creed or race. At least, in Juneau Alaska, anyone can go in to our local shelter, request a food box and emerge on the spot with a couple of meals worth. The shelter also offers three meals a day, and encourages the community to participate, which many do, to show we care. We also have a food bank from which people go home with shopping carts full. In addition, two churches I know about, Lutheran and Episcopal, have drop-in facilities for those who request food; I expect there are other churches who do the same. I don't know of anyone who has NO food in the house- there may be but I know of none.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 13 - 07:03 PM

I suspect the evil hand of gov't propaganda. A UK family (a mother and two sons) have recently been convicted of a large conspiracy to import illegal drugs. The news reports found it necessary to mention several times that al 3 were receiving benefits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Musket sans belief
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 02:07 AM

Bridge was only a capitalist because.... Everybody is whatever they are only because....

You make it sound that only you had noble reasons to be part of the problem.

And that M'Lud is part of the problem?

I was a grateful if frustrated beneficiary of such things during the 84 strike. I help run a winter shelter in a nearby city which is also helping coordinate food banks now. Yes, a sign of the times. They predate arrogant posh boys though, by millennia in most ancient societies. Azerbaijan was part of a socialist dream under the soviets but one of he few aspects that seemed to carry forward what I saw was the idea of never throwing away bread, always leave it wrapped outside or other less fortunate to pick up.

Blaming an incumbent government for cathartic reasons misses the point and always shall. Blaming how voters and media alike hamstring successive governments? Might be better than gripping the arms of your comfortable armchair.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 04:18 AM

Some disturbing facts from the Child Poverty Action Group.The last point is especially telling.

•There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today. That's 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.
•There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.
•Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.
•People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts.
•Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 61 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.
•Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE than their wealthier peers.6 Leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life.
•Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length - of life. Professionals live, on average, eight years longer than unskilled workers.
•Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £29 billion a year.8 Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now.
•Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty (BHC).9 This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children.
•Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.10 This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: selby
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 06:06 AM

For those who work in primary schools particularly they already are well aware of children coming to school hungry. Our government ring fences money to give foreign aid to affluent countries whilst not supporting our children. We are increasingly looking to start Cameron's world adventure i.e. getting involved in Syria whilst families in this country do with out. All the media use a small percentage of wrong doers to claim that everyone on benefits is a scrounger and neer do well. The whole demographic of society is struggling with poverty if people care to look,unfortunately some sections of society decide not to see.
Keith


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 06:12 AM

Living in a small, self-contained village, population about 900, I still feel that as a community we all share in one another's problems and needs. If communities were stronger and more cohesive, maybe neighbours and the local 'leaders' (eg vicar, parish councillors, village hall committee etc) would feel able to support folk who found themselves 'in a pickle'. For instance, when I was ill fairly recently, my lovely neighbour came in with soup and a casserole, and offered to do shopping. This is the sort of thing we could do on a large scale all over the country. But the 'community spirit' seems to have died out. I agree with you Ebbie, no-one requesting food should be turned away. Hounslow IMO are very wrong to impose restrictions. Regarding people with absolutely no food in the house, the gentleman from Dereham Food Bank told us the Salvation Army had very recently gone to a house of a couple in desperate straits and indeed found not a crumb in the place. Musket-sans belief, 'gripping the arms of your comfortable armchair'? If you mean me (and I can find no indication in your post regarding this) I'm afraid I'm too old now to do much more than donate as best I can. My comfy armchair is becoming more and more of a necessity!


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 06:42 AM

I live on the Wirral Peninsula; that spit of land between the rivers Mersey and Dee. It's only about 10 miles wide, yet people on the underprivileged east bank have an average life expectancy which is 10 years less than that of people of people living on the affluent west bank. Guess which group is being hit hardest by this government's austerity measures?

That's right, and if anyone doubts the existence of widespread poverty in 21st Britain, just take a wander through the squalor of some of the really depressed parts of Birkenhead and Wallasey, right down as far as Ellesmere Port.

That is the reality of capitalism and the reality of Cameron's so called big society. He has said on many occasions that foodbanks are the big society in action, because they are evidence of people pulling together on a voluntary basis.

Well thanks, but I'd rather live in a society where the government actually did something about closing the poverty gap instead of making things worse. But that would be unthinkable of course. Gotta make sure the bankers are well fed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Musket sans Ian
Date: 15 Jun 13 - 10:46 AM

Not at all Eliza.

My armchair reference is aimed squarely at what are know as armchair socialists. Or put another way, equality for all so long as I don't have to compromise my comforts. Fighting against the system that gave them such a comfy armchair but not willing to get up out of it in order to do anything about it.

I suppose my dismay is as ever the tendency to find blame that just so happens to fit political allegiances. Our resident legal sparrow is a delightfully wonderful example of the breed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,cujimmy
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 05:51 AM

I have been helping distribute food parcels from Bradford foodbank for a while. This artical in the local newspaper shows how they are struggling to cope with the increasing demand http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/news_behind/10547665.City_food_banks_hit_crisis_point/


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Subject: RE: BS: Food banks in UK, sign of the times
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 01 Aug 13 - 06:17 AM

Everyone knows, of course, that it was the poor who caused this current economic crisis and everyone knows that all we have to do to resolve it is to punish them, and everyone else of a lower social status! Simple!

On the other hand, no-one understands what bankers do (it's very technical) - and as they are of a higher social status than us (the sort of status to which we aspire)they surely must know what they're doing - so let's leave them to get on with it ...


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