The Rise and Rise of the Food Bank

A woman walks into the Kings Church centre, her hands thrust deep into the pockets of a sports jacket twice her size. On the run from domestic abuse, she’s only been in the city two weeks and she’s hungry. Inside it’s warm, fluorescently lit and smells faintly of disinfectant. The other visitors sitting at old computers in jeans and trainers don’t notice her enter. The only clue about what the centre offers is an abandoned trolley in one corner and some volunteers sorting through tins behind a counter. She looks around, “Is this a homeless shelter or something?” she asks. More people are visiting food banks every day. There are now over 200 operating across UK, serving everywhere from densely concentrated poverty of Tower Hamlets to the rural poverty of Okehampton and isolated highlands around Inverness. The biggest is in Coventry, where over 7.000 people have walked away with packs of tinned food, sugar and tea since it launched last year. In a time of economic decline, number of people visiting food banks doubled to 128,967 last year. With no sign of the economy recovering, experts predict that they will be serving over half a million people by next election. Two more open every week. “Inflation in food, rising living costs and falling wages all push people to count their pennies, and a huge volume of people are finding that they can’t make it to end of the week,” says Chris Mould, executive chairman of the Trussell Trust which operates the only network of food banks in the UK, “After two or three years of hardship people run out of people to ask for help, and savings have all diminished. This country is facing some hard truths”. Everyone has their own story about why they came to a food bank, but two big factors play a part in most of them. Some 29% of visitors say that they have been forced to look for help because of benefits changes. Even if you’re entitled to help under the government’s new system, a six-week delay is standard. In that space, some of the most vulnerable are left with nothing. But benefits are not the only reason. Low pay is more commonly cited as a reason for seeking help than unemployment, with some 19% of foodbank visitors finding that their wages cannot meet basic costs. Visitors have been let down by market as well as the state. Portsmouth food bank operates on the same principle to those across UK. Those in need are given vouchers by partner agencies, Sure Start centres, social services, schools, etc…that entitles you to free bundle of soup, beans, rice pudding, tinned tomatoes, tea, cereal and other basics (…..)

Link: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/society/2012/05/rise-and-rise-food-bank

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: