1 June 2013

I wrote about food poverty in Cornwall this post at the end March. Now there is a report for the whole country, Britain, our country, in 2013: Food banks now a lifeline for half a million people in Britain (Guardian 30 May 2013).

Walking the breadline
Yes, Labour to its shame saw food banks increase but this is now on a different scale. Look, too, at the role that the Tory Libdem benefit changes play.

Here is the very recent report from Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam on the rise in food banks. Read and weep: Walking the breadline. You can also access the report here.

From the executive summary, Walking the breadline
“Some of the increase in the number of people using food banks is caused by unemployment, increasing levels of underemployment, low and falling income, and rising food and fuel prices. The national minimum wage and benefits levels need to rise in line with inflation, in order to ensure that families retain the ability to live with dignity and can afford to feed and clothe themselves and stay warm.

More alarmingly, up to half of all people turning to food banks are doing so as a direct result of having benefit payments delayed, reduced, or withdrawn altogether. Figures gathered by the Trussell Trust (see page 13 of this report) show that changes to the benefit system are the most common reasons for people using food banks; these include changes to crisis loan eligibility rules, delays in payments, jobseekers allowance sanctions and sickness benefit reassessments.

There is clear evidence that the benefit sanctions regime has gone too far, and is leading to destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale.”

Cornwall MPs
I should like to hear the response of the six Cornwall MPs to Walking the breadline and how they see misery and food poverty being ended.

In Cornwall
There appear to be eighteen food banks in Cornwall: Bodmin, Bude, Callington, Camborne, Camelford, Hayle, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Penryn, Penzance, Redruth, Saltash, St Austell, St Columb Minor/Newquay, St Ives, Truro, Wadebridge.

Not only food, also water. Read this report fromn the House of Commons Library about the rising cost of water bills: Water bills – are they affordable by all? (24 May 2013).

UPDATE 4 June 2013
See this story in the Western Morning News: Soaring demand for food banks as emergency hand-outs become ‘a way of life’