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Almost everyone has now heard of a Food Bank in the United Kingdom, or at least comprehends the intention for which it’s used.

So what really is the purpose of a Food Bank and, is it to provide food for those in distress?

The answer is yes and no.  Yes, Food Banks do provide food for those who need it, but a great deal of Food Banks have many stipulations attached to them.

Those are a maximum of 3 days food per person, up to and covering 3 times a year, 9 days in total.

You must prove links to the local area, but that eliminates homeless people.  If you’re working, then you must be on a low income or be receiving Welfare Benefits, but people who have been sanctioned are often excluded because being sanctioned is listed as a punishment and, therefore is classified as a deterrent, to not do, whatever they were meant to have done and, to not do it again.

They will not get help from a Food Bank if they live a complex way of life, but this is extremely open to debate and, thought to apply to Alcohol, Drugs or have a chronicle of minor offences.

However, now that we have eliminated about 75% of people in need (these people can go and starve), the residual 25% who are more often than not, low paid workers will be given their 3 days provision of food up to 3 times a year.

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It’s not sounding so good now, but it gets worse when you find out who are, in fact, the biggest referrers to the Food Banks, in spite of claims to the contrary by Government Ministers, is really the Local JobCentre Plus, usually just after they have received a claim for unemployment benefits, or a person who has been sanction, frequently through no misdeed of their own for up to 3 years.

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For those who just made a claim, they are very fortunate, they will get their 3 days of tinned food and pasta/rice and, that’s presuming they have somewhere to cook it, or the money for Gas and Electric.

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For those that have been sanctioned, well if they happen to live in a region in which the local authorities have jurisdiction in the Food Banks, they are excluded from anything from the Food Banks and, have no right to question this, in spite of the fact being referred to the Food Banks as their fail-safe by the JobCentre Plus.

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Let’s get to the Local Authorities, the substitute for Crisis loans/Grants and, the Food Banks.  In general, cashless allowances will be provided instead of Loans/Grants for people in a crisis situation, this will probably entail vouchers for food, fuel, clothing and travel.

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In other words as formerly specified, up to 9 days food by way of vouchers in any given year for 3 days maximum, up to a maximum of 3 times a year and, these vouchers or referrals are to the local Food Banks.

Effectively, nearly all local authorities pay in pocket change the amount of about £25K a year into Food Banks to engage a full time organiser, who in turn runs the Food Banks, unpaid staff and decisions by central Government who controls, who gets support and when.

To put it plainly, people are donating food , so that central Government can bring about the illusion of assisting the poor.

There are still some self-governing Food Banks, but they’re gradually being consumed into a much larger structure, which is being made to abide by the 3 day, 3 times a year rule, no matter how many contributions they have been given.

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When the bigger networks get too much food than they need, it seems that this is being dissipated into the likes of the Global Food Banking Network, so even though its being given to the poor, it’s more frequently not to the poor of this country, but to the disadvantaged in other countries.

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One thought on “Food Banks – Assistance or Immoral Behaviour?

  1. Interesting article! Not the experience of the food bank and clients in West Bromwich though. In particular, JC+ do not refer that many clients to us at present. And, if claimants fail to qualify for local welfare provision, the council will refer them to a food bank. We do not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of lifestyle, being sanctioned or anything else!

    We work in partnership with the local authority who provide and pay for all the food in their local welfare provision scheme. We do support clients after the ‘3 visit rule’ and have never knowingly turned away anyone in crisis.

    Like

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