Food bank bashing: when poverty dares speak its name

Food bank bashing: when poverty dares speak its name

he Tories are trying to discredit food banks because the alternative would be to accept that their policies are creating poverty, writes Annie Powell

Food banks imagejToday, Easter Sunday, that paragon of Christian virtue theMail on Sunday has run a story about food banks. Not about how nearly a million people have been driven to such extreme poverty in Cameron’s Britain that they cannot afford to feed themselves, no, but about how one of its reporters lied to a food bank to obtain a free food parcel.

The point of the story? To make out that it’s easy to get free food from food banks and that those who do so are simply on the scrounge rather than in genuine need.

It’s pretty clear what’s prompted this bile. Not only does the soaring rise in food banks undermine the right’s rhetoric about benefit claimants, it also reveals the nature of in-work poverty.

Why would the sick or unemployed be referred to a food bank if they weren’t in desperate need of food? Aren’t they supposed to be living a life of luxury at the taxpayers’ expense? And if food bank users have a job, why can’t they afford to feed themselves?

It gets worse for the Tories. Food banks have captured the imagination of the national press in a way that other experiences of poverty have not. Food bank use is easily counted and easily communicated; poverty statistics are abstract but food parcels are strikingly evocative of aid efforts in developing countries. This is dangerously close to depicting the poor as deserving.

That’s why, with the help of Mail, the Tories are trying to discredit and smear those who run and those who rely on food banks. The unpalatable alternative would be to accept that their policies have created indefensible levels of poverty.

These smears tell you nothing about food banks, but a lot about the Tories. Possibly the most ridiculous attack on the Christian charity the Trussell Trust, the largest food bank provider in the UK, is that it’s a business and all its efforts therefore self-interested. “I understand that a feature of your business model must require you to continuously achieve publicity,” wrote Iain Duncan Smith to the Trussell Trust last year.

This line of attack was continued in recent days, with a “senior Whitehall source” telling the Daily Mail that the charity’s “publicity seeking” was “not entirely surprising given Chris Mould [Trussell Trust chairman] is effectively running a business.”

The Trussell Trust gives food away for free to those who are assessed as in need. Now I’m no entrepreneur, but that doesn’t seem like a particularly promising business model.

This unnamed senior Whitehall source also accused the Trust of being “emotionally manipulative”. Emotionally manipulative, for speaking out about the need to feed the hungry in modern Britain. Goodness knows what they’d have to say about that arch manipulator whose teachings form the basis of the Trussell Trust’s mission.

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UK hunger crisis laid bare in open letter to PM from professional couple forced to resort to food banks

UK hunger crisis laid bare in open letter to PM from professional couple forced to resort to food banks 

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People in Crawley, West Sussex are going hungry, missing meals regularly to pay the bedroom tax and other death dealing benefit cuts by the Tories.

Street Democracy writes:

Here in Crawley, W.Sussex I hear and meet local residents who regularly miss meals because of being forced to pay the bedroom tax or have been hit hard by the benefit cuts.

I meet people who tell me democracy for them doesn’t exist for they feel silenced and excluded.

Our local MP, Henry Smith (Tory), doesn’t listen to them or me for that matter, and gives back automated pre-written emails or responses regurgitated from the Tory henchmen Conservative Leaders.

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Henry Smith MP-Prayed at Northgate Church for the poor but ignores their pleas, supports bedroom tax, benefit cuts and ATOS all death dealing Tory policies-hypocrite!

There is no empathy in this sterile economic torture towards the poor.

The Tory punishing state is expanding as our stomachs rumble for food.

We have some Tory Councillor’s who feel we the poor live lavishly on food take away’s, daily and we don’t need a food bank.

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This Tory Councillor is also rude to members of the public who don’t support Tory policy. Mockery is allowed at Town Hall meetings towards the public gallery when the public are not permitted to speak to defend themselves. Outcome-innately decent people walk out.

 

This particular Tory Councillor is wrong.

He is using in accurate and by out of touch information to make such a crazy statement.

This Tory Councillor cannot hear, or relate to the numbers of Crawley residents who bear the weight of this Tory ‘war against the poor’ and even Iain Duncan Smith stated it was a war.

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So it is a war then! A war against the lower classes and financially weaponising benefits and to demonise claimants has been a Tory success.

Crawley, Tory Councillor refuse’s to open their eyes to their political party’s destruction policy aimed at benefit claimants.

It has been a spiteful punishing agenda, especially using the blame game for economic failures being aimed at benefit claimants and calling it a ‘benefit culture’ like it was always easy to survive on.

There are hungry people in Crawley, I know this for a fact. Desperately trying to find work that pays their rent, mortgage and the corporate cost of living is now very difficult without welfare top ups.

Crawley Borough Council and the local Crawley Job Centre amplify this misery, by following the Tory psychopathic main frame with ruthless efficiency.

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Bedroom tax victims were regularly mocked by Tory Councillor’s and many walked out feeling worse than what they did walking in. This is Crawley Borough Council where workers are paid not to be political-paid no to think more like.

For more on the ‘war on the poor’ click here for the Mirror or continue reading:

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By orders of wealthy ruling families-death dealing policies-this Tory psychopathic agenda is being followed with ruthless efficiency.

UK hunger crisis laid bare in open letter to PM from professional couple forced to resort to food banks 

As a report reveals one million food parcels have been handed out including 330,000 to hungry children, a professional working couple tell how they had to rely on food banks to feed their baby.

Hard working: Hannah, baby Hunter and Dean Chadwick

 

NHS PA Hannah Chadwick, 31, and her engineer husband Dean, 27, ran out of money to feed themselves and their 16-month-old son Hunter after their car needed £700 of repairs.

In an open letter to David Cameron, the couple, from Wrexham in North Wales, reveal how they had to use a food bank to survive:

Dear Mr Cameron

We are a hard-working family and never buy anything on credit. We are proud of being able to provide for ourselves and didn’t want to beg off someone else. So going to the food bank was our only option. We were a bit embarrassed but in August we turned up at our local centre.

There was a real mix of people there. We expected to see homeless people or those fighting addiction. But there were also professional workers, older people and families.

They gave us three days of food but it lasted a week. It tided us over to payday. Without it we’d have gone hungry. We don’t think the answer is more food banks. Cheaper childcare would have helped us. We are a wealthy country and it is shocking that so many don’t have enough.

We want the Government to come up with ways that people can help themselves. And if you are struggling our message to you is, ‘Don’t be too proud to ask for help’. We wanted to give back so we donate food ourselves.

Hannah and Dean Chadwick

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uk-food-bank-crisis-open-3417613#ixzz2z3dKxWsW 

Donald Sutherland: ‘I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution’

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/nov/19/donald-sutherland-hunger-games-catching-fire

‘Donald Sutherland wants to stir revolt. A real revolt. A youth-led uprising against injustice that will overturn the US as we know it and usher in a kinder, better way. “I hope that they will take action because it’s getting drastic in this country.” Drone strikes. Corporate tax dodging. Racism. The Keystone oil pipeline. Denying food stamps to “starving Americans”. It’s all going to pot. “It’s not right. It’s not right.”

Millennials need awakening from slumber. “You know the young people of this society have not moved in the last 30 years.” With the exception of Occupy, a minority movement, passivity reigns. “They have been consumed with telephones.” The voice hardens. “Tweeting.”‘

Read more: Donald Sutherland: ‘I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution’

Why are so many kids going hungry in the rich West?

Thursday, 05 September 2013 12:30

(Because it is meant to be that way and you have seen nothing yet unless The System behind it becomes history.)

‘As new figures suggest widespread child hunger in the UK, Krishnan speaks to Carmel McConnell, founder of a charity which delivers free breakfasts to schools and Jeanette Brumby, a London headteacher.’

Click here to watch …http://bcove.me/ynn0bc5u