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Do people use food banks so they can go to the pub

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OneFootInTheGrave Report 25 Apr 2013 10:31

David Cameron's young sidekick claims families use food banks so they can spend cash in the pub.

I also found this part of the article interesting:-

During Prime Minister’s Questions on January 30, Labour's Dave Watts asked: “Why is the Prime Minister frightened to visit a food bank? Could it be that, if he visited one, he would see the heartless Britain that he is creating?”

Mr Cameron responded that food banks went up 10 fold under Labour, before adding that his local operation was set up “five years ago” before he was PM.

But Witney local Richard Mackenzie said the food bank was just over a year old.

Mr Mackenzie wrote: “He [the PM] also said he had just spoken to the man who runs it, but it’s run by a woman – and apparently, she’s never spoken to him. Did he intentionally mislead?”

Forgive me if I ponder for a moment as to whether a politician would say anything that was not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ;-)

I have absolutely no time or sympathy with the scroungers who have poured any money they had down the drain and then think others will subsidise them :-|

Having said that I do have concerns as there are people in this country who are facing real hardship through circumstances that are not entirely of their making.

My first concern is that many like David Cameron's sidekick, are always tarring everyone with the same brush, when will they realise that not all people in need of help are beer swilling scroungers :-|

My second concern is that the UK is in the top ten of the wealthiest countries in the world, so how is it that we have people in this country living below the breadline and having to rely on food banks to survive. this cannot be acceptable in this day and age :-|

The demand for food banks is on the increase, it is reported that new food banks are opening at a rate of three per week. One of the main reasons being stated by the main providers of food banks is laid at the door of The Department of Work and Pensions, they criticise the way the DWP "one size fits all" policies and also the incompetent handling of many claims which result in delays in the processing of claims which are leaving many more or less destitute.

I am not sure how food banks actually work, but I don't think that people can just walk in of the street and get food parcels or vouchers. I think they have to be referred by a social worker, a health worker, a doctor, and other organisations like Citizen Advice Bureau or their Job Centre.

Do you have a food bank near you and what do you think can be done to alleviate this situation?


LollyWithSprinklez Report 25 Apr 2013 10:43

What a smug little git he is :-(

I think you are right and the food bank service is by referral, as with all things there will be a certain amount of abuse of the system but whats gives this individual the right to stigmatise the already stigmatised by tarring all who use the service as beer swillers down pubs.

I don't know of any food banks locally but there was a good thread on here recently about the service they provide.


JackBunion Report 25 Apr 2013 10:43

I was thinking about food banks yesterday. BrianW works for one voluntarily, if my memory is right. Probably others do too.

Heard some interviews yesterday from Trussell customers and they did sound pretty desperate for food. And the pubs round here are not doing well. And the alcohol aisles in my local Asda always seem to be emptiest of customers. So doubt many are using extra help for booze.

Things not likely to get much better this year. I have just had an 18.7% increase in my energy - a fifth more approximately. And talk of another 10% increase in the autumn. And grocery prices are going through the roof - 12 shillings for a tiny pot of meat paste. 60p not quite so emotive.

I am one of the luckier ones down in South Wales - but still feeling quite close to the edge of the black hole of financial precaricity. :-(


Sharron Report 25 Apr 2013 10:45

There have been recessions and other difficult times before so why did i never hear about food banks until now?

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 25 Apr 2013 10:48

I need longer for a full answer lol

But, it seems apparent from what I have seen on tv and read, and noted locally, that a good proportion of people using food banks do so when unforeseen events beyond their control happen.

For eg last night on news, new mum on maternity leave from job, benefits had not come through, needed food.
Recently, mother with children , marriage break up,high fuel bills etc to pay so needed food.
Might be a case like X who has lost job, family to support, benefits for one reason or another do not cover rent, bills etc, illness in family means outgoings are high.

Many people have been living 'on the edge' all the money they earn goes on bills and housing and existing, there is no buffer of savings, so when something DOES go wrong there is nothing there to fall back on, or 'tied you over'.


Porkie_Pie Report 25 Apr 2013 11:41

The figures quoted in that article are not the same as on the Food bank web site

article; His comments came as it was revealed 350,000 used food banks last year, nearly treble the figure from 2011.

Trussell trust. In 2011-12 foodbanks fed 128,687 people nationwide, in 2012-13 we anticipate this number will rise to over 290,000. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to foodbanks for help.

Eat Well, Spend Less courses

The Trussell Trust has piloted, and is currently looking for funding to roll out, 'Eat Well, Spend Less' courses that teach people how to cook when on a low budget. The course includes basic cookery lessons as well as providing advice on food budgeting, hygiene and nutrition. If you or your company could help to fund this project we'd love to hear from you

My personal opinion is that Yes some do put Beer ahead of food but I think they are a very small minority and unfortunately governments always tar everyone with the same brush

The "one size fits all" policies are the same which ever administrations in power

Eat Well, Spend Less courses may help and they could also promote the growing of fruit and veg which I believe is already on the increase.

My own children would have preferred the easy option of ready made meals if I had given in to them when they were young but I insisted they helped in the kitchen and had freshly prepared and cooked meals so they learnt to cook and that included my Boys

Working Families on low income? if they are working their employer should pay a living wage



DazedConfused Report 25 Apr 2013 12:11

Politicians who make such crass remarks just make my blood boil

Not all people on benefits are scroungers or ne'er do wells.

Many people who use the food banks do so only for a short time (often less than once) to cover for late income from either employer or benefits.

I would like that young idiot to spend a week living working for free in a food bank to see just how much these valuable places are 'abused' by his scroungers that he is so fond of blaming.

Too much time is spent by our government and those with more money than sense on blaming those of the poorest in our communities for all the ills this country now faces. What about our governments fat cat banker friends did they have no part to play in the serious state of this country??

It is far too easy to blame those less well off than ourselves.

Of our benefits I believe it is around 45-55% is spent on pensioners (hardly the scroungers we are told take all our money)

And of those large families who have more children than is truly necessary they take up less than 2% of our benefit budget.

Our government really needs to stop talking out of their behinds (too polite to say *****).

OK whinge over - sits down (almost) crossed legged calm calm calm ommm ommmm - oh sod it its not working still fuming ;-)

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 25 Apr 2013 12:30

One rather exceptional but upsetting use of the food bank was highlighted here, during the snow a pensioner was unable to leave home for a week to buy food, a call to the council in desperation led to someone from the food bank taking her supplies until she could get out and about again.

It's a sad thing that there was no one to check, I know it can't be the only case as an elderly friend was also reliant on neighbours to get food in while the snow was thick.
Although pensioners should have enough to live on, fuel prices have gone up, some live in poorly insulated rented properties and the money goes on keeping warm.


JoyBoroAngel Report 25 Apr 2013 12:37

i dont know anybody whos been to a food bank
so would not
know what they spend their money on :-D


Kay???? Report 25 Apr 2013 13:03

Nobody can just walk into a food bank...

Its by referal only from.......either a GP,or part of the Social Services...

your circumstances are taken down,,,,,,,ie income and outgoings with proof,,,,,,,,also low income earners are also using food banks,not just people whos income rely on the state,

Pensioners in reciept of security benifits are also using food banks in some areas,.......scroungers,?,,,omw.......

all food is by donation,no food is bought by the food banks,no profit is made by food banks,no wages are earned by workers in food banks,

Its a sorry state for any country to be in,but we arent the only country where it takes place


Tecwyn Report 25 Apr 2013 13:08

According a news report on BBC Wales last night 40,000 people are using food banks in Wales, 12,500 of that number involve children.

To my mind the food banks are the equivalent of the soup kitchens of the 1930s.
I never thought I would see our people reduced to that again.



OneFootInTheGrave Report 25 Apr 2013 13:13

I learned to cook from watching my gran and my mum cook and up until the latter part of last year I always cooked my meals from fresh ingredients. The cost of electricity soared and I found that the appliance that was using the most electricity was my cooker, so now I mainly use ready meals and the microwave, this has reduced my electricity bill quite a bit.

The Eat Well, Spend Less courses that Roy mentions that The Trussell Trust is piloted seem like an excellent idea.

Having watched this morning what the Office of National Statistics had to say about the economy, all the figures really said was there was minimal growth and that we are where we were six months ago and that the economy still faces a long and bumpy road.

The Chancellor response to having narrowly missed a triple dip recession and that the economy has hardly grown over the past year, was that the figures were encouraging, the economy was healing, and that the government are on the right track. He once again boasted that they have created a million new jobs in the private sector, how many of these I wonder are real jobs paying a reasonable living wage, he also added that he had cut government borrowing, well he has, just by a whisker, like all politicians he loves to play with his spinning top ;-)

Looking at the overall picture, I think things will only get tougher for the foreseeable future and the rise in Food Banks will continue, after all, that is what David Cameron wants, remember his Big Society idea, part of which was the idea that in many situations, charities and community organisations fill in for the state :-|

When David Cameron sings God Save The Queen - his thoughts take him back to the reign of Queen Victoria ;-)


Kay???? Report 25 Apr 2013 13:31

You think DM and his ilk have ever known to juggle between a tanner to the metre or a loaf of bread.......
what to buy ---------

walk or bus,
fire or lights,
pay water rates or shoes.
socks for jimmy or a jumper for sally.
more food or pay the catalouge

or been reduced to underwear from a charity shop>>>>>>>>>

oh how the mighty have long noses.


OneFootInTheGrave Report 25 Apr 2013 13:37

Kay???? - we are all in this together so you cannot expect them to do any of these things :-D :-D :-D

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 25 Apr 2013 13:44

Kay "or been reduced to underwear from a charity shop" that is SO not a nice thought that I might pop into the charity shop and find DC trying on undies :-0


OneFootInTheGrave Report 25 Apr 2013 13:48

RamblingRose - the mind boggles :-D :-D :-D


Merlin Report 25 Apr 2013 14:26

OFTG.Have you ever thought why DC and his cronies never worry about Food Banks? its because they have permanent ones in the Houses of Lords and Parliament .All food and drink is subsidised by the Taxpayer,nice work if you can get it. :-| with no worries. :-|


OneFootInTheGrave Report 25 Apr 2013 14:38

Merlin - I know that only to well, have had lunch at House of Commons on two occasions and House of Lords on three occasions, not bad fodder and wine in both places ;-)


Sharron Report 25 Apr 2013 15:25

I think there is a big difference between drinking every day with money that should be spent on other things and budgeting to have a couple of pints in the pub occasionally.

I little bit of respite is very necessary in troubled times.


BarneyKent Report 25 Apr 2013 15:37

Of course Food Banks are booming and more and more people are going to them for help.