I do rather think that the Guardian should have been able to find a better example than this:
Marlene Vickers, 47, a mother of three from Clay Cross, Derbyshire, is earning the minimum wage working as a housekeeper and cleaner at St Barnabas centre, a local nursery and community centre. Her husband, Fred, a mechanic, lost his job in July and two of her children, Zoie, 27, a part-time hairdresser and Nicci, 28, who works as a cleaner, moved back in with their parents two years ago after they struggled to pay the rent on their flats. Her youngest, Shelbie, 18, is studying criminal science at Preston University.
Vickers, now the main breadwinner, earns £656 a month, £425 of which goes on rent. She tries to earn more by extra cleaning when she can, which can bring in £50 to £250 a month. Her husband, who suffers ill health and has high blood pressure, does not get unemployment benefit, because, Vickers said, “it’s more trouble than it’s worth – they give you in one hand and take it off in another”. She was told that she is not eligible for tax credit.
They have to keep up with insurance and tax payments on her husband’s car, in case he finds a job – he is currently seeking work through a friend who runs his own fencing business.
“There’s always bills coming in,” Vickers said. “Council tax and telly licence and then gas and electric. I’ve had the bailiffs in a few times. You borrow money initially and then you have to give them back a bit each month.”
The family live hand-to-mouth, paying bills when they can, doing without when they can’t. Zoie has muscle problems, which meansso she can only work part time. Vickers doesn’t seek rent money from her daughters, but borrows money from Zoie “only when she’s desperate”.
5 adults, one doesn’t claim the public benefits he’s eligible for, two working even if only part time but not contributing to the rent and this, this is the evidence that we’re all a bunch of heartless bastards who care nothing for the poor?
All of which is quite apart from the fact that the very existence of food banks, run by volunteers, stocked voluntarily, shows that we do collectively care.