Top award for this London borough’s food banks

It’s great that the work the food banks and the volunteers, who help run them is being recognised. However, the two most important points are in the last two paragraphs: “Alan adds: ‘All these numbers far exceed our expectation at the beginning of the year. It is not my wish to enter the political debate but I will share with you that the vast majority of people we meet are sincere and their need is genuine. We continue to be grateful to the many churches and schools who have been the chief contributors of food.’” This effectively refutes Norman Tebbit’s statement that people are using food banks because the food’s free, not because they’re starving. The second is the very last paragraph, which Mike also picked out when he reblogged this, stating that people are falling through the safety net, and what they need ‘ What they need is long-term support and intervention – from a state that’s capable of engaging with them. They deserve welfare policies that offer proper help to individuals struggling with a host of adverse circumstances, including chronic ill health. Not just sanctioning their benefits when they ‘fail’ to apply for enough ‘jobs’, or being left without benefits while they wait in limbo for decisions on employment and support allowance (ESA) to be reconsidered. ‘ This is going to fall on deaf ears, though. The government has made it very clear that it intends to destroy the welfare state, and have shown absolutely no compassion or remorse to the tens of thousands, who have died so far.

Ann McGauran

Something worth celebrating happened here recently. Nominated by members of the public, the foodbank network in the borough got a special award for its contribution to the community. The ceremony was held at the town hall, and the lovely and very dedicated food bank manager Alan was there to receive it.

As I’ve said before, this cash-strapped local council isn’t perfect, but it does try harder than most to help the growing number of vulnerable people in the area. It also values social cohension and is striving against considerable odds to address issues of inequality and poverty.

The council is being starved of funding, like all local authorities. The Local Government Association (LGA) has pointed out that overall funding for local government has been cut by more than 40 per cent in the course of this Parliament. The LGA has already called on the government to think again about getting…

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