Food bank debate: 20 things you need to know about food banks in Britain. Daily Mirror, 18th December.

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First published in the Daily Mirror, 18th December. For the full article click here.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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13 thoughts on “Food bank debate: 20 things you need to know about food banks in Britain. Daily Mirror, 18th December.

  1. Am I right thinking that people can only be referred to a food back three times in a year or is that just our area? It must be terrifying to reach that point and know that even that help is limited, it really is a last stop :(

    • Kind of. The foodbank is supposed to be for people in crisis. The view is that 3 days food x 3 times = sufficient to get people through crisis (whatever the cause) Some foodbanks stick strictly to this guideline as they have too much demand / too little donation not to. others use their judgement / discernment.
      The harsh reality is that some people need 4 / 5 parcels to get to a point where “normal” benefits etc kick in and provide the help they need. Some never get there (a lot of different causes ranging from ignorance of the process to genuine hardship with one or two “trying it on” – and it is these latter that really muddy the waters as they invariably get all of the press despite being a very small minority)
      Some foodbanks are finding that some of their clientèle are “the working poor”. People who simply cannot earn sufficient to feed themselves especially as winter draws in (food or warmth as both is not an option)
      A complex problem, and unfortunately, not one that can be solved by ignoring it and hoping it goes away.

  2. Hey Jack just to say thinking of you:-)) This has GOT to start a change – I’ve e-mailed my MP to get himself in there (I had a two-page letter back re:the bedroom tax !!) -I’m on his case alright!
    Go Girl!

  3. There are poor people in all countries – even the richest and most affluent. There always has been and always will be. I see it not as a failure of government, but as a failure of the people – of the society at large. Unless we, as a society, accept that we are the only ones who can make a change and unless we are actually willing to change our habits and our ways of living, there can be no end to poverty. Sadly, I think our values are just too out of whack – too inverted for such a change to take place. Our culture has been programmed to value bigger, better and more of, the things that have little real value: houses, celebrity, brands and material objects. Our whole economy runs on consumption and is a slave to unsustainable goal of a growing GDP. We don’t really care about community, the poor, the environment or the other creatures we share this planet with.

    • Since I commented earlier, I saw what happened with IDS today and I heard a clip of Cameron from yesterday’s PMQs saying the compassionate thing to do is get people in to work. The best that can be done for this country, assuming we cannot change the culture that accepts poverty, is to tell people the truth about money – that the government has, and can create, all the money it needs. A sovereign nation that issues it’s own floating, non-exchangable, currency is not in debt to anybody and can never go bankrupt. And never in history has one gone bankrupt. Our modern monetary system does not work anything like the old system when money was tied to gold (or another currency). Yet we act as if it is. We pretend that government is fiscally constrained just like a typical household and we pretend they must either raise money through taxation or borrow money before they can spend. This is not true. Taxes do not pay for spending!!! When the government says we have to balance our books or repay our debts, they are LYING!!! (although I suspect many MPs simply have no idea) And once that lie is exposed to enough people, they cannot use those lies to inflict the kinds of policies we are seeing. But I imagine I’m wasting my time even talking about Modern monetary theory. Maybe if MMT was talked about in parliament the rules of the game could change significantly.

  4. Well the government has shown where it stands with a vote for no change, the use of food banks will sadly get worse upto the next election. I am very sad that the majority of MPs don’t seem to care. If there is another .gov poll then I will vote for this to return to the house.

  5. I have just read the Mirror article and all your blogs on the subject and am truly shocked at so called MP`s mocking they are beyond belief. Please carry on to help all these people.

    • Personally, Im Suprised he even turned up. But to sit their with that smirk on his face REALLY got my goat when the debate was being aired, He needs taking down a peg or two..

  6. Socialism really frightens me, people thinking the state and society owes them a living and all the resources to enjoy a full and fruitful life – yet having no concern as to how this is going to be paid or by who it is going to pay for it or staff it. How can we have arrived at a position when the majority of those in relative poverty are in employment. On a daily basis I witness unemployed people who smoke, drink, gamble and abuse drugs – yet are obese. HOW CAN THIS BE. Answer = SOCIALISM

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