Posts Tagged ‘food banks’

Shame on Trussell Trust

June 22, 2015

Shame on Trussell Trust who pay their employees so badly that they have to rely upon tax credits to top up their wages.

I mentioned today to a Trussell Trust manager she would be seeing a sharp increase in demand for food banks, as David Cameron had strongly hinted abolition of tax credits.

To my surprise, she said she would be affected as she was reliant upon tax credits to top up her wages.

Now this is to be expected from KFC, McDonald’s and other bad employers, but should not we expect better standards from Trussell Trust as the country’s biggest providers of food banks?

Actually probably not.

The number of Trussell Trust food banks has risen eight-fold in just five years, to 445. Its most recent accounts show an annual income of nearly £3.4 million.

Many of those dependent upon food banks, are caused by the arbitrary sanctions being handed out by Job Centres.

A question mark though needs to be raised against the Trussell Trust.

For the Trussell Trust, food banks have become Big Business. Their recent claim of a million people dependent upon food banks has proved to be false. They have handed out a million food parcels, not quite the same thing.

But it gets worse, they have been charging local volunteers and churches what amounts to little more than franchising fees, £1,500 to set up food banks. telling them the money is needed for ‘branding and PR’ and ongoing fees of £350 a year.

The pitch to prospective punters says:

We’ll provide you with all the tools, training and know-how that you need to start a foodbank so that people in crisis in your town don’t have to go hungry.

They are told they will be given a website, publicity materials and ‘opportunities to talk to the Press’ among other benefits.

Foodbanks are asked to make a £1,500 donation towards these costs.

Rise in foodbanks

April 25, 2015
Trussell Trust food bank

Trussell Trust food bank

There are several successes we can attribute to the Tories, and their willing little helpers the LibDems, though some of their successes they would rather we did not know about.

They claim to have reduced taxes.

They have not, not if we include income tax, VAT, Bedroom Tax, loss of benefits.

The poor and the rich are about 2% worse off, the allegedly squeezed middle a fraction of one percent worse off.

Massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.

During five years of austerity, those at the top of the Sunday Times Rich List have seen their wealth double.

Increase in jobs. Low paid, temporary, de-skilled, mind-numbing, zero hours McShit jobs.

Fastest recorded growth in food banks.

The number of Trussell Trust food banks has risen eight-fold in just five years, to 445. Its most recent accounts show an annual income of nearly £3.4 million.

Many of those dependent upon food banks, are caused by the arbitrary sanctions being handed out by Job Centres.

A question mark though needs to be raised against the Trussell Trust.

For the Trussell Trust, food banks have become Big Business. Their recent claim of a million people dependent upon food banks has proved to be false. They have handed out a million food parcels, not quite the same thing.

But it gets worse, they have been charging local volunteers and churches what amounts to little more than franchising fees, £1,500 to set up food banks. telling them the money is needed for ‘branding and PR’ and ongoing fees of £350 a year.

The pitch to prospective punters says:

We’ll provide you with all the tools, training and know-how that you need to start a foodbank so that people in crisis in your town don’t have to go hungry.

They are told they will be given a website, publicity materials and ‘opportunities to talk to the Press’ among other benefits.

Foodbanks are asked to make a £1,500 donation towards these costs.

Last week I found the baskets outside Waitrose Farnham had leaflets inside asking for donations to Trussell Trust. I have never seen a food bank in Farnham, or mention of on church notice boards, but I assume one must exit. But why not Waitrose donate the food?

Waitrose likes to project a green social image, workers are colleagues, partners in the busines, which in reality is little more than greenwash. John Lewis, outsources the cleaners who are on minimum wage (though this may change).

If you want to set up a food bank, you do not need Trussell Trust. In Lincoln, a church gets donations from farms, from shops, and serves it up to the homeless.

And why set up a food bank? Set up a social enterprise cafe, intercept waste food, serve as delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis.

These social enterprises should also be helping the fight against benefit sanctions. Always appeal.

David Cameron’s constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden

April 23, 2014

David Cameron’s constituency office has come under fire for calling the police on the Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Hebden as they attempted to present him with an open letter on food poverty.

Their letter, part of the End Hunger Fast campaign, was signed by 42 Anglican bishops and more than 600 clerics and called on the three party leaders to work with the parliamentary inquiry into food poverty to implement its recommendations.

However, despite David Cameron’s Witney office expecting their visit, they were barred from presenting the letter and instead greeted by three police officers. Around 40 people had walked to his office following a service, and while the congregation stood on the opposite side of the road, the Rt Revd John Pritchard and Rev Hebden went to deliver the letter on their own. The police “weren’t there very long” when they realised the situation, Reverend Keith Hebden told The Independent, saying that they could see Cameron’s office staff looking out the window as they were forced to abandon their visit.

He added: “It is deeply ironic, to say the least, that on the same day David Cameron was writing in the Church Times talking about what a good Anglican he is, he was wasn’t able to receive his own bishop in his constituency office. I think this speaks volumes.

“They were expecting us, we had phoned ahead. Most of my surprise was reserved for them not even opening the door. The letter was positive and addressed to all three party leaders, so it wasn’t political.

Their letter, part of the End Hunger Fast campaign, was signed by 42 Anglican bishops and more than 600 clerics and called on the three party leaders to work with the parliamentary inquiry into food poverty to implement its recommendations.

However, despite David Cameron’s Witney office expecting their visit, they were barred from presenting the letter and instead greeted by three police officers. Around 40 people had walked to his office following a service, and while the congregation stood on the opposite side of the road, the Rt Revd John Pritchard and Rev Hebden went to deliver the letter on their own. The police “weren’t there very long” when they realised the situation, Reverend Keith Hebden told The Independent, saying that they could see Cameron’s office staff looking out the window as they were forced to abandon their visit.

He added: “It is deeply ironic, to say the least, that on the same day David Cameron was writing in the Church Times talking about what a good Anglican he is, he was wasn’t able to receive his own bishop in his constituency office. I think this speaks volumes.

“They were expecting us, we had phoned ahead. Most of my surprise was reserved for them not even opening the door. The letter was positive and addressed to all three party leaders, so it wasn’t political.”

David Cameron said in the Church Times that Britain should be “evangelical” about its Christianity and in a separate claim made earlier this month that the Conservative party’s “Big Society” initiative was continuing Jesus’ work.

Dr Hebden and the Bishop of Oxford were presenting Cameron with the letter as it was revealed more than 900,000 people were given emergency food in the past year, an increase of 163 per cent, according to figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest food bank charity. The explosion in demand has coincided with an increase in those seeking help following a benefit sanction.

Speaking about food banks and the impact of the current raft of welfare reforms being brought in by the coalition, Rev Hebden said: “We are facing a national moral crisis and actions speak louder than words.

“We the people have taken on our moral responsibility by fasting, volunteering at food banks and showing compassion to those affected. The government are not only failing to recognise the problem but failing to act with any compassion.”

In its most hard-hitting report to date, the Trussell Trust said the Government’s use of sanctions was “increasingly harsh” and that half of those referred to food banks in 2013-14 were as a result of benefit delays or changes.

Eight out of 10 of their food banks saw more cases relating to benefit sanctions over the past year. Tougher punishments for those on jobseeker’s allowance were introduced by the Coalition last October, raising the minimum sanction from one to four weeks. Benefits can now be stopped for up to three years.

Reverend Dr Keith Hebden went without food for 40 days and 40 nights during Lent to draw attention to the astronomic rise in the use of food banks and the need for the government to do more to tackle falling living standards.

Reproduced from The Independent.

Writing in Church Times, David Cameron stated the UK was a Christian country and claimed the evil ConDem government to be carrying out God’s work.

UK a Christian country was a simple statement of fact, and yet was subject to attack.

The hypocrisy of Cameron, who has been waging class warfare on the poor since taking office, was left unchallenged.

Its sums the man up, senior clergy presenting a letter on poverty and Cameron sets the police on them.

The same weekend, saw an attack by the Mail on food banks and those who use them. Coincidence, methinks not.

A sign of the times

March 12, 2014
admission charge for entering a church, a bar of soap

admission charge for entering a church, a bar of soap

Admission charge for entering a church, a bar of soap, not a symbol that those who enter are unclean, but as a contribution to a local food bank.

Food banks are the fastest growing sector of the economy in the UK, a clear sign of the failure of the evil ConDem government. Hit the poor and elderly, the vulnerable and disabled, help the rich get richer and take a softy softly approach to tax dodgers.

snouts in the trough

snouts in the trough

When Members of Parliament debated poverty and food banks, the chamber of the House of Commons was almost empty, when it came to discussing their own salaries, it was full to overflowing. Business as usual, pigs with their snouts in the trough.

It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven.

    Matthew 19:23-25: And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”

    Mark 10:24-26: The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?”

Top Story in War On The Working Poor (Thursday 13 March 2013).

Appalling food waste by Harris + Hoole

August 19, 2013
Harris + Hoole

Harris + Hoole

I was walking down North Street, en route from the Castle Grounds to St Saviour’s Church where Canon Andrew White was giving the sermon, when I stuck my head in Harris + Hoole, aka Tesco.

I was curious, was their coffee organic and/or Fairtrade. I could see nothing to indicate either.

I was shocked to find they were throwing out all their food, perfectly good sandwiches, sausages rolls. They did not appear to be throwing out cakes, but maybe they had not got that far.

Not only is this an appalling waste of food, adds to global warming (as probably goes to landfill), they have to pay for it to be disposed off.

I asked why did they not give it away, or sell off half price, or say buy a coffee and get a free sandwich?

But please, when the fastest growing sector of the economy is food banks, when we have a growing problem of waste, please do not throw away good food.

They said yes, good ideas, and will pass to management. Being a chain, no doubt has to go to head office, people are never encouraged to think, show initiative.

The staff were very pleasant and friendly, and asked did I wish to stay. I said no, as I was on my way somewhere. But even had I not been on my way somewhere, I would not have wished to stay, because apart from the fact that it is a fake indie coffee shop, it is just is not pleasant.

How can anyone relax, enjoy a coffee, with a ghastly pop radio station blasting out?

I had meant to ask at St Saviour’s, did they have any links with food banks, could they make an arrangement to distribute this food that was otherwise going to waste. I am sorry to say that sadly I forget.

It does though yet again, expose that Harris + Hooe is a chain, not an indie coffee shop and they like to pretend. Nor are they community oriented as they like to pretend. If they were, they would be making arrangements to see that this food was put to good use.

Next time I pop by, apart from taking up the ideas I have suggested, I will suggest, that if they still have left over food, they link up with a local food bank.

IPSA proposal to increase MPs’ salaries is plain wrong – and I will reject it

July 11, 2013

The body in charge of handling MPs’ salaries and expenses, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), has published recommendations that MPs should receive a pay rise of £6,296.

At a time of economic crisis and when so many of our constituents are struggling to make ends meet, I think this proposal to increase MPs’ wages is completely wrong.

I reject the salary hike recommended for 2015 – and would donate the extra money to charity.

Like many MPs, I support the idea of an independent body to manage MPs’ salaries and expenses to reduce interference by politicians, but IPSA isn’t doing itself any favours with these hugely out of touch plans.

— Caroline Lucas

Posted by Caroline Lucas on her blog.

If we look at what Members of Parliament are paid as an annual salary, then yes, they are underpaid, and probably deserve a modest increase, but now is not the time.

No one forced them to become MPs, few actually act for their constituents.

IPSA are completely out of touch with reality, if they think it is ok to increase MPs salaries by 11%.

We are living in a period of austerity, imposed on us by Parliament. Those who are on benefits, the poorest in society, have effectively seen their benefits cut, then on top of that hit with Council Tax and Bedroom Tax.

But MPs have called them scroungers, said it is perfectly reasonable to manage on benefits and what are they moaning about. The same MPs who are now saying they need a big pay rise.

And do not forget, many of them have nice little earners outside of their day job.

Gerald Howarth MP, has a nice little retainer acting as a consultant to a pay day loan company. Howarth is Member of Parliament for Aldershot, a deprived town, many of his constituents are victims of pay day loan companies.

Many ordinary people have two or three jobs. Not because like MPs they are greedy, but because they are in part-time, poorly paid jobs and only by having more than one job can they make ends meet, and not end up victims of pay day loan companies, modern day loan sharks.

Compared with this time last year, there are now three times as many people seeking help from food banks. Food banks are the fastest growing sector of the economy. In the last year, the number of food banks has doubled.

Merry Christmas from Taste Communications

December 20, 2012

Taste Communications, instead of sending out corporate Christmas cards this Christmas, decided instead to set up a stall and give away free food. They also made a donation to Mary’s Meals, which will go towards feeding school kids in Africa.

Through her blog NeverSeconds, Martha Payne has now raised over £125,000 for Mary’s Meals. Her book NeverSeconds co-written with her father David, for each copy sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals. A pity bookshops do not have NeverSeconds on prominent display as it would have been a run away Christmas best seller. An update of Martha, Meals and Malawi, will be show over Christmas.

In November, Covent Garden Soups had quite literally a soup kitchen. Where else other than Covent Garden!

I noticed the other day in a fairly run down area, where even a charity shop had pulled out the shop then sitting empty, the shop is to re-open as a food bank.

Banks are on the decline, the future may by peer-to-peer lending as the crooked corporate banks are no longer trusted.

Banks may be on the decline, banks that steal our money, food banks are on the rise due to the ConDem government waging war on the poor and disadvantaged.

If the ConDem government thought they had public support for their viscous attacks on the poor and disadvantaged, they made a big mistake. According to an Ipsos Mori poll, only 27% think benefit cuts were ok or should be deeper, while 69% think benefits should rise with or above inflation.

What people wish to see is a fairer society, the rich paying higher taxes and tax dodgers dealt with.

Taste Communications is a PR company promoting Scottish food.