The Guardian newspaper today carries an article on the increased use of Food banks. The article puts this increased use down to benefit sanctions, and stopping of benefits and delays in receiving benefits. This is disputed by the figures in government who claim to have a large pot of money set aside to cover such emergencies.
There may well be such a pot but the hoops people have to jump through before they can prove they are in dire need are despicable.
It is a pity that these government policies seem to be made by people who sit in warm offices and are never likely to experience poverty. They simply do not know what they are talking about.
You only have to look at the upsurge of pawn shops in towns and the proliferation of pay day lenders with exorbitant interest rates to realise we are not living in halcyon days. Many of us are still experiencing recession and struggling to stay afloat.
The government wants you to think they are in touch with the common man and his needs but how can they possibly be given their annual salaries ?
I’m not saying some of them don’t work hard for their money but how dare they say they know how we feel? They simply don’t. They’ve dropped the ball on this one.
Believe me when I say no one wants to have to visit a Foodbank to be able to feed their families. We love our children and want to be able to provide for them.
I have never had cause to visit a Foodbank but have come very close to it. In almost each circumstance when food was difficult to provide for my children I was blessed to be helped out by friends and strangers.
Some people do not have recourse to that and therefore have to use a Foodbank. We need to take the stigma out of asking for help. There may well be people who will exploit the system but most people are in genuine need. We do not have the extended family branches we had a couple of generations ago so the onus is on all of us to look out for others and to make getting financial help easier.
Most people will only use a Foodbank on a couple of occasions to tide them over. They are not trying to set it up as an ongoing means of providing for their families.
They are simply asking for help and I for one am grateful that the Trussell Trust and Foodbanks have stepped into that breach.