But one couple, identified as April Hope, 42, and Leon Ashby, 49, walked out with six bags. They were joined by a man, known only as Rex, who had two bags.
After picking up their supplies, all three made straight for a block of flats, Meadow Court, and began knocking on doors on the ground floor. Evidently unsuccessful, they disappeared upstairs and tried the other floors, emerging 15 minutes later minus six of the bags. Hope and Ashby then went straight to a neighbouring block and, after going to the top floor and meeting a man on the landing, they returned to their nearby flat.
When asked to explain what she’d done, Hope, a self-confessed heroin addict, said: ‘We kept some bits and shared the other bits with someone who didn’t have a lot of money.’
She conceded one woman ‘paid us a few quid’ before adding: ‘OK, I got £5 altogether. Some of the stuff I wouldn’t eat and doesn’t suit my stomach but might suit somebody else’s.’
Asked what she and Ashby did with the money, she replied: ‘We got a fix. That’s why Rex was hanging with us because he knew we’d be getting some.’
There’s this sort of leakage in any system of welfare, whether charitable or State.
Does it mean that we shouldn’t support food banks?
Nope, there’s always leakage in any such system.
But it does mean that we should be looking just a tad askance at the claims of the Trussell Trust and others: that the existence of food banks is evidence of destitution in the UK.