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Victorian England Brings Back Food Banks

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posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 03:20 AM
The Independent has an exclusive yesterday which reported on how, despite rejections from government corners over any genuine need:

Some senior Tories have dismissed the problem, with Lord Freud claiming in June that families using food banks were simply after free meals, while Education Secretary Michael Gove said last month that users were often those who could not manage their finances properly.

the Red Cross, working in conjunction with FairShare (working with the Trussle Trust) and

on the basis of “strong evidence of an increased need for support on food poverty issues”

are taking action to help the already "more than half a million Britons are now turning to food banks" manage over this coming winter.

Exclusive: Red Cross launches emergency food aid plan for UK’s hungry

Welfare cuts and the economic downturn send soaring numbers of people to soup kitchens and food banks across Europe

The Red Cross will this winter start collecting and distributing food aid to the needy in Britain for the first time since the Second World War, as welfare cuts and the economic downturn send soaring numbers of people to soup kitchens and food banks across Europe...

With winter approaching and fuel bills expected to rise, charities are struggling to meet the demand, and FareShare asked the Red Cross to step in. Juliet Mountford, the Red Cross head of UK Service Development, said they agreed to assist FareShare on the basis of “strong evidence of an increased need for support on food poverty issues”...

Chris Johnes, the UK poverty director for Oxfam, said he was “genuinely shocked” that the situation had got so dire that the Red Cross needed to step in. “They don’t do things for reasons of grandstanding at all,” he told The Independent. “The fact that they are doing this... is a very clear signal how serious things have become.”

Food bank visits up 470%, Trussell Trust says

Red Cross UK Food Aid

posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by JAK

And that is in the world's 6th wealthiest country - don't have to be a genius to work out that there's something seriously amiss and inherently wrong and unjust with the society which we live in.

posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:29 AM
Oh how I would love to do a life swap with one of the politicians that make the decisions governing my life and in particular those who decide just how much a person can live on. Don't give them access to their bank accounts and credit cards savings and loans and see how they cope. They have no idea what goes on and how we are having to live at "ground zero" as it were, most don't even know the price of a bottle of milk and yet they are the ones telling me I can live on £88 a week for 2 of us. Almost all my money goes on gas and electricity and in winter I just dread it.

The wealthy and powerful should at some point in their life touch base with reality and experience what we have to maybe then they would appreciate those people that actually run the country i.e. those that man the infrastructure without whom they'd be buggered!

posted on Oct, 29 2013 @ 04:30 PM

Canada has food banks. It's a good idea, I don't see what's so bad about it?

Because we're one of the richest countries in the world yet people can't afford to eat. They're a symptom of a completely broken society made of billionaires and beggars.

reply to post by bastion

Great idea. If after an election MPs had to spend six months on a council estate with only JSA to live off before taking office the country would turn int a much nicer place. When I was made disabled and had to claim it was a major eye opener as I thought these things only happened in third world countries despite coming from a poor background.
edit on 29-10-2013 by bastion because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 29 2013 @ 08:12 PM
I think we need to maintain a sense of perspective in this. While it is sad that some people have to use Food Banks, it is still only a fraction of the population at large. The Trussel Trust states that for year 12/13, 346,000 people used Food Banks for 3 days food or more, which is only 0.5% of the population.

While it is tempting to get all worked up about this if you are personally affected, you have to see the bigger picture. It is also tempting to paint the current Government as being at fault, but many of these people needing the food banks are doing so as a direct result of successive Government's failed policies, not least the last Labour Government which ran the countries finances into the ground.

I have also noticed some in this thread making other rather ridiculous claims:

NHS in turmoil

How, exactly?

Having to pay for treatment & prescriptions

What treatments do you have to pay for? And we've had to pay prescription fees in England for years anyway, which ignores the fact the £7 prescription charge is often a fraction of the cost of the drugs anyway.

Agency work so no-one has security of employment

No one, no one at all? Or are you making a sweeping generalisation there? Of course, no one can expect a job for life but to say no one has any job security out of a workforce of 30 million is a big claim.

Unable to find dentists

That's always been the case - I assume your referring to NHS dentists? Having said that, I know of at least 5 dentists within 10 minutes of my house that take NHS patients.

Up to 6 week waiting for a routine doctor's appointment

Really? That must be a local problem in which case I might suggest you change surgeries. My local GP can usually get you in the next day, if not the same day.

People on the streets

Always been the case going back as far as when towns were first invented. You're ascribing ancient problems to a modern cause, which is a bit disingenuous

Women turning to prostitution

See above - it's not called the worlds oldest profession for nothing.

Charities unable to cope with demand

Again, charities have always been overwhelmed owing to the nature of their work, which is often underfunded.

It certainly seems from your ranting that you've got a kind of tunnel vision going on, made worse by your own circumstances and you have then extrapolated that out into the whole nation. I am not trying to belittle the problems, but at the same time you have to keep perspective on it. I understand that if your stood knee deep in crap, you might think the crap goes on everywhere, but that is not the case. Yes, people are finding it hard at the moment, but at the same time I wouldn't assume that the whole country is in a mess - it isn't.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 05:20 AM
reply to post by stumason

Thing is stu I think it's very much a regional issue - the North East is being hit far worse than the Home Counties etc.
And unless witnessed at first hand I don't think many fully appreciate the desperation that those affected feel.

Where I live it is estimated that approximately 1500 families are using food banks every week - that probably equates to around 6% - 7% of the total population.
It is almost criminal and a damning indictment of this country that so many people are reliant on hand-out's simply to maintain a subsistence existence.

You are right in your assessment that it is the result of consecutive government policies - both the Labour and Conservative party's have failed this country miserably, but it's undeniable that this current administration is compounding the issue and is being particularly vindictive in targeting the most vulnerable and needy in our society.
The truth is that large sections of this country are being marginalised and feel completely alienated from the more wealthy and affluent.

There is a connectedness that runs through the social and economic policies that have been implemented by both main parties since at least Thatcher's time.
The minimum wage has possibly been the single biggest disaster for ordinary working people since pre-WWII - melodramatic? - possibly - but I know many time served tradesmen who earn quite a lot less now than they did 20 years ago - good, honest, hard working, tax-paying people who are really struggling.
The knock-on effect is alarming with businesses closing down at a frightening pace with more and more shops, pubs, etc boarded up and vacant - people simply have no money.
All people want, and deserve, is a fair days pay for a fair days work - and that isn't happening for far too many.

Austerity is crippling this country - or at least significant parts of it.
We need stimulation, we need investment - very little of which is forthcoming.

Since it's introduction the NHS is the single, greatest achievement of this country.
It provides a far better service than many would have us believe - it's a testament to it's success that so many have come to expect such high standards of it.
But it should and could be far better if managed and funded correctly and efficiently - that's a whole big can of worms and a discussion for another time and place I think.
Yet it can't be denied that it's at stretching point, for so many reasons, and it's staff are seriously hard pressed and morale is rock bottom.

And exactly the same can be said about our education system.

It doesn't paint a good picture of our country - again, I may have exaggerated slightly in places to make a point.
Austerity is not working except for a relatively fortunate few and whole sections of this country are facing real hardships.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by stumason

your right there is a lot of overhype but considering the fact we have a socialist cradle to grave type care system it is not expected that anything else will be needed and when it is that upsets people especially when the consider how much they are paying in tax for it.

Also my concern and probably other peoples as well is, what happens if this is the start of a trend what if that .5% reachs 5% or 10% how much can this keep increasing.

The government is certainly a failure I'm 26 and I cannot say any government in this country in my life time did more good than harm, the same is probably true of governments before that as well. we need new ideas and new people in politics unfortunatly all we have is labour and conservatives dragging themselves and the country down.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 06:35 AM
Anybody who has any questions about the benefits in this country should read this article:

Benefits in Britain: seperating the facts from the fiction

Fact is that unemployment benefits such as JSA only take up a small amount of the benefit budget. And a very very small number of these are people who have never worked. Pensions take up the majority of the welfare budget. Obviously this is due to an aging population. Its very shortsighted for people to blame the jobless for the state of the economy and i cannot understand why this part of the budget is being attacked so viciously by most people.

Lets look at some of the facts.

In the welfare budget pensions account for more than half of spending in 2013 at 139.1 billion (which is more than is even spent on the NHS).

The rest of the welfare budget comes to about 116.6 billion with unemployment coming in at 5.9 billion. Family and childrent at 18.8 billion and disability etc at 58 billion.

Considering that we pay the eu about 11 billion a year just for being a member and 12 billion in foreign aid..!!!

But lets all demonise the unemployed eh.

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 06:44 AM
And sorry for the off topic post OP.

On Topic. With benefits and wages being what they are and not even covering the cost of living and constantly rising prices in almost all areas of life its no wonder foodbanks are being used more and more. Something needs to change radically in our society to be honest and the first thing that should change is the worlds debt slavery to the bankers. There is more debt in the world than actual cash so it can never be paid. this is what it causes and its only going to get worse i my opinion. we are only seeing the start.



posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 10:43 AM
reply to post by stumason

I suggest you travel up North to see the effects it's having. Around 10% are unemployed and there's around 100 - 200 people per job vacancy, and that's not including the people in employment who want a different job.

While Labour were terrible this government is even worse. They're not even trying to hide their corruption by giving the rich massive tax breaks while removing benefits from sick and disabled people.

If you don't think the NHS is in turmoil I suggest you speak to staff. I have several mates who work in it, all are looking to emigrate to China as they have far better job security, pay and are respected by the government.

The NHS is being privatised to Cameron's mates who paid a £100,000 donation to the Party in order to secure four one to one meetings with the prime minister to discuss policy. A £50,000 donation allows you to meet with front benchers like Osbourne for one to one meetings four times a year.

Cameron calls it his 'Leader's Group', everyone else who knows about it calls it corruption.

The Conservative party openly offers donors the opportunity to attend dinners and other events with David Cameron and senior Tory figures.

Its website invites supporters to join one of its "donor clubs", each with different benefits. They include: • The Leader's Group (annual membership £50,000), described as the "premier supporter group" of the Conservative party, with members "invited to join David Cameron and other senior figures at dinners, post-PMQ lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches".

• The Treasurers' Group (£25,000), whose members are "invited to join senior figures from the Conservative party at dinners, lunches, drinks receptions, election result events and important campaign launches".

• The Renaissance Forum (£10,000), pitched at the party's "closest supporters to enjoy dinners and political debate with eminent speakers from the world of business and politics".

• The Front Bench Club (£5,000), whose members are given "the opportunity to meet and debate with MPs at a series of political lunches and receptions held throughout the year".

• The City and Entrepreneurs Forum (£2,500), aimed at professionals, executives and entrepreneurs to hold "discussions with leading industrialists, parliamentarians and prominent City figures".

• Team 2000 (£2,000): "The principal group of donors who support and market the party's policies in government, by hearing them first hand from the leader and key Conservative politicians through a lively programme of drinks receptions, dinner and discussion groups".

• Fastrack (£250), for young professionals under 40 to attend networking and social events, with events hosted by "key figures in politics, business, industry, the arts and beyond".

• Party Patrons (£50 a month), for "committed Conservative supporters" who are prepared to support campaigning.

The same thing happened with Royal Mail privatisation. Osbourne's best man, Peter Davies, was one of the main people pushing for privatisation. He makes a £100,000 donation to the party in the run up to the decision. He gets given £50 million in shares and due to the share value being set at 1/3 of the value independent advisors recommended he made £18m in under 24 hours while the taxpayer got screwed.

Also despite austerity and everything we're in far higher debt now and borrowing far morre money than under the last government.

Large companies dodge around £50bn a year in tax, if they were taxed then we wouldn't need austerity and wouldn't have any debt. Norway has an 86% tax on oil revenues and has 0 debt. However in the UK all politicians are in the pocket of big business so the rest of us are left to foot the bill and reap none of the rewards.

edit on 30-10-2013 by bastion because: (no reason given)


posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 03:44 PM
Thought this might be of interest:

Angry clashes take place during food banks debate

The rising number of people relying on food banks in the UK is a "damning indictment" of the government's record in office, Labour has said.

Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle told MPs more than 500,000 people - a third of them children - have relied on food banks provided by the Trussell Trust since April 2013, which she said was double the number recorded this time last year.

The majority of people using them were "working-age families", she continued, claiming that 19% had been forced to turn to them as a result of the government's welfare reforms.

"It's a scandal, and it is getting worse," Ms Eagle declared, as she opened the opposition debate on 18 December 2013.

There is a full three hour recording of the debate available.

The outcome?

MPs divided along party lines as to the reasons for the increase in food banks, with Labour blaming it on the government's welfare reforms and Conservative MPs attributing it to the economic climate after the financial crash on Labour's watch.


Labour's motion calling on the government to "bring forward measures to reduce dependency on food banks", was defeated in a vote by 294 to 251, a reduced government majority of 43.

Eat that.

posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 02:08 AM
reply to post by bastion

I won't even try to deny any of what you have said, but my question to you and everyone else in this thread predicting the imminent collapse of the nation due to Political ineptitude and corruption, what exactly are YOU doing about it?

A couple of years ago, some of us here on ATS attempted to start a grass roots movement - it was an epic fail. In the end, we managed to get 3 or 4 ATS members involved and this is despite the epic whining that goes on around here. You'd have thought all the armchair critics around here would have leapt at the chance, but no, when it comes down to it, most can't be arsed.

A FB campaign that I funded out of my own pocket reached hundreds of thousands of people, yet we only managed to drum up around 100 followers. I also paid for a Website and forum as well.

Granted, the lack of interest may have been down to our nebulous idea's and a failure to get the message across, but apathy is what is killing the nation, not the Politicians.

As some famous French dude once said, "Every Nation gets the Government it deserves" so while we're all wrapped up in X-Factor, the Football or EastEnders and every other person declaring politics as "boring", it serves us right.

posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by stumason

I couldn't agree more, if everyone engaged in politics (and not in the sense of only voting once every four/five years) then it's be impossible to for the corrupt systems to continue - the

I've been an activist fir years writing to MPs, organising groups, getting activists together, publishing activist newsletters and currently write grant proposals for two charities to reclaim the money the government has taken from the NHS/PCT. Some have turned into dead ends, one I headed stopped a load of Universities being privatised.

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