Growing Numbers of People in the West Midlands Needed Food Banks in Past 6 Months

The Trussell Trust, which runs 172 food banks around the UK, has reported a doubling in the number of people seeking its support to feed themselves and their families as benefit cuts, delays and sanctions, the recession, rising food prices and frozen wages hit poor people in the UK. Between April and September this year, nearly 14,000 people in the West Midlands visited a Trussell Trust food bank, and many more will have been to others, like the Gateway Family Services food bank in Edgbaston.
Such is the increase in demand that Birmingham Central Foodbank have launched a Harvest Campaign to encourage donations.

This comes alongside news from a survey by the Guardian Teacher Network that large numbers of pupils are coming into school hungry, with nearly a sixth of teachers saying they spend up to £25/month of their own money on basic foodstuffs for the students to eat. Schools themselves are facing budget cuts and many have reduced provision of breakfast clubs.

Delays in processing benefits and sanctions placed on claimants are amongst the most common reasons for people to look for food banks to help them, and from October 22nd sanctions will be increased to a maximum of 3 years for unemployed people, whilst disabled people will find sanctions increased to 70% of their benefits for an indefinite period of time.

The rise in need for food banks is one of the most telling outcomes of this government’s failing austerity agenda, and the welfare cuts regime. As Universal Credit is introduced next year, the situation can only be expected to worsen, as advice services become overwhelmed. Cuts to council tax benefit will take an average £5/week out of many people’s pockets, whilst cuts to housing benefit will bring increased homelessness to our city.

The Tories will not step in to correct the situation as they do not believe in the social security of the welfare state, and would like to see everything handled by charities, uncertain of their income or ability to provide services, with poor people made to beg for handouts if they find that they haven’t been able to compete with 20,000 other people for one of the jobs at Jaguar Land Rover.

If you think this state of affairs is wrong, and want to see alternative economic policies to ensure the recession ends as soon as possible and that noone is driven to destitution, then come down to London on Saturday to join the TUC national demonstration for a future that works. Free coach spaces are available for unwaged and low paid people in Birmingham.


Filed under News

4 responses to “Growing Numbers of People in the West Midlands Needed Food Banks in Past 6 Months

  1. representingthemambo

    Reblogged this on Representing the Mambo and commented:
    Excellent piece detailing the oft-forgotten consequences of this government’s agenda. To me, it is a fairly simple notion that in one of the richest countries on the planet so many people shouldn’t be going hungry and there is no justification for it whatsoever. Evidently many people disagree with me……..

  2. Pingback: A few thoughts on Tory ‘sincerity’ « Representing the Mambo

  3. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » Growing Numbers of People in the West Midlands Needed Food Banks in Past 6 Months

  4. Reblogged this on Gogwit's Blog and commented:
    Not soup kitchens for the destitute feckless but a life-line for ordinary hard working men, women and their children – perhaps your neighbours, perhaps… you.

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