At the time I asked a question:
What can we expect by the time we have the figures for year 2013-14, if the number increase threefold
again that would be at least one and a half million people going to food banks.
We have now reached the end of year 2013/14 and the numbers for last year are now out.
My worst case predictions may not have been reached but the situation is still truly dire. The Trussell
Trust have reported that the number of people who have used their food banks has all but tripled for
yet another year.
They are reporting in excess of 900,000 three day parcels have been issued.
Trussell represent anywhere from three quarters to as few as one half of the food banks and charities
helping to feed the hungry. For the sake of this example let us say that they are two thirds of the total
This means that with Trussell aiding 913,000 people other organisations and individuals are aiding an
estimated 456,000 people.
Consider that total number, one third of which is children going hungry.
ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED
men, women and children asked for help to feed themselves.
More than two percent of the population by estimation.
Two people in every hundred are going cap in hand to food banks and charities for the food to feed
themselves and their families.
Perhaps the Government will be blaming the numbers on the increase in food banks and charities again,
after all we heard last year that it was the availability of charity food that was causing the rise in the
number of people needing such food.
Will we be seeing MPs and Ministers laughing and joking in Parliament about a million people needing
help to feed themselves?
We live in an Era when it has somehow become normal for our Government to make hundreds of thousands
destitute by stripping them of benefits and support on the slightest pretext or because of simplistic and
utterly inappropriate tests.
We live in an Era when taking food from supermarket waste bins because you are going hungry leaves you
facing arrest and criminal charges.
We live in an Era when EU rules force us to discard uncountable tons of food that fails to meet EU standards
because that food is the wrong shape or colour.
We live in an Era where it has somehow become acceptable for our leaders and the political class to demonised
and criminalise the poor and the weak and the helpless while turning a blind eye to the crimes and abuses
that members of that same political class may carry out.
We live in an era when projects such as HS2 continue to go ahead to devastate our countryside and spend
tens of billions of pounds, perhaps those people travelling between the midlands and London those few
minutes faster will be less bothered by the starving masses if they see less of them as the HS2 speeds by.
We live in an era when our laws provide greater protection and care to the prisoners in our gaols than for the
people in our streets, when our elderly and our poor and our homeless going hungry and without shelter
while murderers, rapists and drug sellers are guaranteed three meals a day with every effort made to provide
wholesome food for them.
As a member of the G8 or is it G7 these days. As a wealthy European nation, by many standards the sixth or
seventh richest nation on the planet. How is it that two in every one hundred are in need of charity to feed
themselves at least once a year.
Last year I asked what sort of nation we were when the number of people going hungry had tripled and then
This year it has all but tripled for a third year running.
Nothing has been done.
So what sort of nation are we, what sort of Government do we tolerate?
The honest answer to that question is something we do not want to hear.
But until we answer that question honestly we will never change this situation.