Lucky we\’ve got all those food banks then

Food bank inquiries soar as further working class families slide into poverty

Millions find it harder to put food on the table as low wages, welfare cuts and high cost of living take their toll

Imagine what it would be like if we didn\’t have them?

Slightly more seriously, it\’s an error to use evidence that a problem is being solved as an argument that there\’s a problem requiring solving. We\’ve a society with sufficient solidarity that people are voluntarily providing both food and a food distribution system for those that require it. This is not an argument that \”something must be done\”. This is evidence that something is being done.

The charity said the worst affected area was the West Midlands, where there had been a 142% increase in inquiries – 779 in total – since February……In our Solihull office, staff say they are giving out food parcels on average once every two days.

800 people in 6 months? One incident every two days? Isn\’t this the sort of level of activity that is best dealt with by voluntary cooperation? Rather than the State and its hobnail boots?

Gillian Guy, chief executive of the charity said: \”Food banks have no place in modern Britain.

Why? If there are people who, for whatever reason, do not have enough food why is it wrong that, purely through the charity of their hearts, people organise a method of getting food to those who do not have enough? What the hell is wrong with the citizenry solving the citizenry\’s problems? And aren\’t we all told we should be being less individualistic and more communal anyway?

10 comments on “Lucky we\’ve got all those food banks then

  1. Is it really voluntary. Isn’t it just the Trussell Trust doing what private companies do best – create a market via FUD advertising, make the product available cheaply, flood the market, call it a success.

    Trussell trust is getting money from the taxpayer but not voluntarily, they get it from quangos, councils etc. who pay it without regard to taxpayers wishes. And if you make a product available for free why would you be surprised if lots of people take up your offer. Especially when it very easy to get the voucher to get your free food.

  2. Up until this crisis, I wasn’t aware that food banks existed (had I done so, I might have weighed more than 8 stone when I moved down from Edinburgh).

    Is it not somewhat likely that there has been an increase of enquiries simply because—thanks to the feverish media reporting—more people are now aware that they can get something free…?

    DK

  3. Don’t we already have food banks? Those big supermarket thingies. And the needy should have the money to shop in them. It’s what the whole welfare system’s supposed to do, isn’t it? So either recipients are having to spend the money on other things. Or choosing to. Or, as SBML says, who can resist a freebie?
    But the one thing you don’t have is a food problem.

  4. AIUI food parcels are means tested so even if there are more people who realise there is a freebie, not all of them will be allowed to have it.

    Why? If there are people who, for whatever reason, do not have enough food why is it wrong that, purely through the charity of their hearts, people organise a method of getting food to those who do not have enough? What the hell is wrong with the citizenry solving the citizenry’s problems? And aren’t we all told we should be being less individualistic and more communal anyway?

    Surely the point of the article is that we’re supposedly a rich country yet many people appear to be struggling such that they require food parcels.

    Isn’t there a concern that wages have failed to keep pace with living costs?

  5. But isn’t the gubmint supposed to guarantee everyone a full-time job at the minimum wage (after it’s been increased to something close to the median, of course)?

  6. Don’t place too much store in Gillian Guy’s warm words. She’s on £100,000/ year for her job at the ‘charity’, so it’s in her best interests to ensure that problems are addressed with sticking plasters.

  7. I was introduced to a charity providing food and showers to the homeless (by a retired Brigadier who worked as a volunteer alongside potential privates under the Wilson/Callaghan government). It continued under the Thatcher government and my wife and I acted as volunteers one night a week for a few years until we moved away.
    Food banks are NOT new.
    I suspect the Grauniad is mis-quoting: the CAB is well aware of the debt problems – in many areas debt is the most common problem that people bring to the CAB, so it is implausible that the CEO of the CAB would fail to realise that food banks have a place in helping those financially incompetent to feed their children.

  8. The real issue is that we have a society so badly fucked up by statism in general and socialism in particular that even a small minority need these kind of handouts instead of being able to provide for themselves.
    The proggie upper middle and upper class scum at the top carry a large part of the blame but so do millions of fools who still vote (at all) for Nu or Blu labour.

  9. I have dealt with our nearest food bank, one of the longest established Trussell trust food banks, quite a lot through our parish church as a donor. The most frequent cases of need are when social services mess up and there is no income. Given that the “turnover” of food banks is relatively small I doubt that the increase is much to do with a slide of “millions” into poverty so much as local councils moving people around and the DHSS taking weeks over modified benefit applications, which is the usual cause.

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