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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Trussell Trust predicts up to one million Britons will turn to food banks next year



In Cameron's Cotswolds in the PM's own constituency, a food bank is alarmingly busy




A local Food bank.


 
In December of 2012, I wrote in this Blog under the heading of, “In 2013, Foodbanks will feed more than 200,000 people in the UK”. I was wrong. 
 
Before the end of April of this year, 2013, the figure had already reached 300,000 and now as we draw to the end of 2013, the figure is close to 700,000, who are regularly reliant on Foodbank charities. The Trussell Trust , the biggest of the Food Bank providers, reports that their charity alone is now feeding more than 300,000. The number of smaller providers, operating in towns and villages around the country, has more than doubled in the past 12 months and make a valuable contribution to the growing struggle against hunger and hardship.
However, the projection for next year, predicts that by the end of 2014, more than 1 million people will have been referred to the Trussell Trust for help. The thousands of people who will visit the other charities will clearly push this figure close to 1.5 million, who but for the compassion of others would be destitute.
The Trussell trust alone has launched more than 400 Food Banks since 2004 and during the course of next year plans to open another 100 outlets in the UK. This, coupled with other providers opening new units, will help with the problem, but the prospect of a growing need for assistance is evident.
The “think tank” the New Economics Foundation, reports that living standards in Britain, have seen the biggest drop since Victorian times.This is clearly a significant fator in the growth of Food Bank referals and no doubt, the rise in the number of loan shark “Payday loan” companies all reporting huge increases in their business activities and of course their profits. Usury provides good returns on the desperation of people.
Successive governments, but in particular this present ConDem coalition, must accept responsibility and blame for this current crisis in our society. The policies in Welfare reforms and cuts in government expenditure, coupled with years of pay “restraint” while prices of food, energy, essential communities and other household costs have been allowed to rip ahead, have resulted in conditions, unprecedented in this country.
Next Wednesday, it will be Christmas day and no doubt many will be enjoying the seasonal mixture of turkey, roast potato, cranberry sauce and all the usual trappings associated with the festivities followed by further indulgences during the remainder of the holiday.
Other, less fortunate families will be having their meals as a result of the charity of others, contributing food and essentials at collection points in supermarkets, shops and hundreds of other locations in towns and villages around the country.
We should all spare a thought for this situation, and remember how it has come about and how it is continuing to grow.