I'm a JSA Claimant

Now working part-time, volunteers part-time. Cares what happens to UK society full-time

Food poverty doesn’t exist? Think again.

Two weeks ago I was talking to a woman in Vivary Park in Taunton and she told me that children in the UK were not really suffering from food poverty and that there was no need for food banks… and if children were hungry it was because the parents were spending their money on cigarettes, booze and drugs. We’ve all met this type, high on opinions, low on knowledge – a Daily Mail reader. Unfortunately, there are a lot like her living in the West Country.

This sort of conversation is not something that I would normally blog about. However, today I saw a series of tweets that flies in the face of what that woman was saying, which I thought worth sharing.

This is the awful reality that many people are faced with all over the country. Last year I read about teachers who were using Pupil premium (additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers) for food, clothes, shoes, bedding, mattresses and even for repairing or replacing cookers and washing machines. It is great that teachers are helping, but they shouldn’t have to, it is not their job to soften the blow of outrageous welfare reforms. They exist to educate and if that premium is being used for food and clothes, it isn’t being used for teaching and learning.

So next time you hear people telling you that food poverty does not exist and how we are lucky, perhaps citing examples of far off poor countries to emphasise their perverse point, don’t get angry and tell them to fuck off, share with them this story of a little boy who stole ketchup sachets because he was starving. Explain to them about benefit sanctions and how they are hurting not just those claiming but innocent children. It probably won’t get through, but you never know until you try.

And if you have become disheartened at the prospect of another 5 years of Tory rule, think of this little boy. Him and thousands of children like him is why we must fight. We can do this by giving to food banks, becoming digital activists, joining a union and/or community group. You could become a member of a political party or volunteer for a charity. I joined Unite Community for this purpose but do what suits you best. This is not a time to be sitting down and doing nothing.

In Solidarity.


2 comments on “Food poverty doesn’t exist? Think again.

  1. The Porcelain Doll
    October 8, 2015

    Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions.

  2. Mark Catlin
    December 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.

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This entry was posted on October 8, 2015 by in Foodbanks, Sanctions, Welfare and tagged , , , .
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