Our Welfare System Must Not Pander to the Myth of the Undeserving Poor and Ignore the Real Need of Those in Crisis

Chris Mould | Posted 24.03.2015 | UK Politics
Chris Mould

It seems to me, and others who gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, that a system in which claimants are 'presumed guilty' unless they prove otherwise goes against 'natural, or administrative, justice'. This is a reflection of the destructive narrative that has built up around benefit claimants.

Given a Second Chance at Life, I Am Devoting the Time I Have Left to Championing the Cause of the Dispossessed

Denise Bentley | Posted 23.02.2015 | UK
Denise Bentley

This is a community where unjust benefit suspension or delay right through to illness and family breakdown can have catastrophic results with bills unable to be paid or food provided. Most strikingly, there is little knowledge on where to access help, and those who have found help have often not been listened to.

Battersea's Hunger Shame

Will Martindale | Posted 22.02.2015 | UK Politics
Will Martindale

Mike spent 30 years working on the railways. After a messy and costly divorce, Mike took out an easy-access loan. And then another. He couldn't keep up the repayments. He tells me he pawned his TV for £50. A few weeks ago, his doctor referred him to the Foodbank. "Coming here was hard", Mike says.

2014: Year of the Poor?

Dave Clements | Posted 21.02.2015 | UK Politics
Dave Clements

The badly off, and the rest of us for that matter, are being stalked by a political class and charitable sector more interested in changing people's behaviour than solving society's problems.

How Have We Got Ourselves Into Such a Mess as a Society That Some People Find Themselves Needing Assistance?

Jonathan Arnott | Posted 14.11.2014 | UK Politics
Jonathan Arnott

I'm not going to argue that every single person who ever walks into a foodbank hasn't made mistakes when handling money; no doubt some have. But the majority seem to be people who have been hit by a crisis in life. Whether it's due to an illness or sudden job loss, they come from all walks of life.

A New Caledonia: Scottish Band in Single Release for Scottish Foodbanks

Rob McDowall | Posted 19.10.2014 | UK Entertainment
Rob McDowall

The Scottish band The Libations have recorded and released a cover of Caledonia which has taken social media by storm and is backed with an impressive commitment to donate all proceeds of the single to Scottish foodbanks.

Foodbanks Bad, Welfare State Good?

Dave Clements | Posted 28.09.2014 | UK Politics
Dave Clements

It is demeaning, they argue, to stand in line for a food parcel. But is it really any less demeaning to stand in a not dissimilar line at the door of a job centre or welfare office. Don't both turn people into state dependents?

Why Oxfam Is Right to Care About Poverty on Our Doorstep

Priya Shetty | Posted 11.08.2014 | UK Politics
Priya Shetty

Somehow, there's a bizarre idea of the nobility of poverty in developing countries. It's as if there's a better quality of poor person in India or parts of Africa - people in rags, probably with limbs missing, who beg pleadingly for a few coins.

Still Hungry for Answers on Foodbanks

Dave Clements | Posted 02.08.2014 | UK Politics
Dave Clements

There is good reason to point to welfare changes as having the single most sizeable bearing on the rise in foodbanks and the take-up of food parcels. According to the Trust (ever-reliable in recording its foodbank activity), in 2013/14 benefit delays accounted for the highest number of referrals.

People Using Foodbanks Are Hard-Up Not Hungry

Dave Clements | Posted 29.06.2014 | UK Politics
Dave Clements

The economic crisis, not just the recent downturn, is all too real and unprecedented in its apparent resistance to the interventions of a clueless political class. But exaggerating the extent of the so-called 'food poverty' problem isn't helping anybody.

We Need to Work Together as a Nation to Help Our Struggling Families

Chris Mould | Posted 19.05.2014 | UK Politics
Chris Mould

This year's Budget has to create some movement in a positive direction for the many millions of people for whom the past six years have been cumulatively, increasingly difficult. Many people attending foodbanks have jobs. Too often those jobs are insecure, with uncertain hours. Poor people need better base pay, more employment security, more full time rather than part time work.

Deeply Divided Britain

Ben Phillips | Posted 17.05.2014 | UK Politics
Ben Phillips

Today Oxfam published some shocking figures that show just how deeply divided Britain is. Just five families have more wealth than the poorest 20 percent of the entire UK population. That's nearly 13 million people, the same number as those officially classed as living below the UK poverty line.

UK Families Are Struggling to Afford Basics... And It's Not Just Food

Robin Boles | Posted 10.05.2014 | UK
Robin Boles

Much has been reported in recent months about providing food to families who are struggling to make ends meet, but unfortunately there is a much broader and deeper side to this story: a desperate need for everyday essentials, items that are getting left off the weekly shop long before people turn to food hand-outs.

What the Foodbank Debate Tells Us

Stephen Timms | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Politics
Stephen Timms

The debate about foodbanks exposes the dark secret at the heart of this government: they just don't care. Asked about the growth of foodbanks, David Cameron always gives the same reply: that demand for foodbanks went up tenfold under Labour. He is implying that things are no worse now than before the election. The facts, however, tell a different story. One of the reasons the extraordinary Trussell Trust has proved so irksome to government is that it keeps meticulous statistics. And it refuses to suppress them.

Dear Government: Let's Talk About Reality

Stef Benstead | Posted 20.02.2014 | UK Politics
Stef Benstead

So let's stop living in a theoretical world where Big Society is what happens when a subsection of those with surplus try to help those in need but don't have enough to meet all the need, and let's start living in the real world where the body best placed to be Big Society and to make Big Society work is you.

The Pains of Rural Poverty Are Very Real

Steve Rose | Posted 03.02.2014 | UK Politics
Steve Rose

Sherborne is a postcard of upper and middle-class tranquillity in Dorset. Famous for its historic abbey and private schools. But Sherborne is a Potemkin town. Look beyond the superficiality and the poverty is very real.

Beyond Beans

Dan Corry | Posted 27.11.2013 | UK Politics
Dan Corry

Food banks are a hot topic at the moment- with an extra resonance because it's Harvest Festival this weekend. The idea that in the midst of plenty, many of our fellow citizens are relying on food hand outs, is an uncomfortable fact for many of us.

Which Is the Greater Crime - Poverty or Shoplifting?

John Wight | Posted 25.11.2013 | UK Politics
John Wight

What struck me about this exchange was the extent to which it revealed a widening disconnect between the haves and have nots, on the level of morals as well as income, exacerbated by the recession and the current government's policy of making the poor pay for an economic mess effectively created by the greed of the rich.

The UK's Hunger Games: Manufacturing Poverty

Matt Carr | Posted 06.07.2013 | UK Politics
Matt Carr

None of this was necessary. None of it was inevitable. Much of it is a direct consequence of policies introduced by one of the most ruthless and callous governments this country has ever seen. And for that same government to turn around and celebrate the charities forced to pick up the pieces is not only paradoxical - it's an act of gross hypocrisy.

Felicity A Morse

Demand For Food Banks Goes Up Five-Fold Under Coalition | Felicity A Morse | Posted 24.04.2013 | UK

The number of people using food banks has increased five-fold since the coalition came to power, and nearly tripled over the last year, with almost 35...

Food Waste and Hunger Side by Side, Scandalous

Adnan Al-Daini | Posted 15.06.2013 | UK
Adnan Al-Daini

In the industrialized west we need only a change in the way we think about food to reduce appreciably the waste.

Pictures Of Greeks Scrambling For Food Sparks Fresh Anger

Huffington Post UK | Posted 06.02.2013 | UK

Pictures of Greeks scrambling for food handouts have sparked fresh waves of anger in the country amid crippling austerity measures. One man queuing...

Government Ministers are in Denial About Food Poverty

Kate Green MP | Posted 19.02.2013 | UK Politics
Kate Green MP

I talked to a constituent who had a stroke and is on benefit. After paying all his bills, he's left with just £12 a week - less than £2 a day - to spend on food. In the new year, thanks to the government's so called welfare "reforms", his housing benefit will be reduced - by £12 a week. He will have nothing at all left to pay for food.

The Cost of Christmas for Millions Facing Poverty

Chris Mould | Posted 09.02.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Chris Mould

Last week Vickie and Mathew, a working couple, were helped by the foodbank. Their finances were stretched to breaking point after they had been made redundant from well-paid jobs and were forced to take low-paid ones instead. They've sold everything that they can and Vickie had gone without food for four days before she was referred to the foodbank by a children's centre. She told us that they can't afford any Christmas presents for their two young children, so she's been hiding some of their toys to give them something to unwrap on Christmas day.