Foodbanks, help or Scandal?

13thHouR/ August 25, 2013/ Uncategorized/ 3 comments

Over recent months, there is hardly a person in this country that has not heard of a food Food_Bank_Warehousebank, or at least understands their purpose.

So what actually is their purpose?

Is it to supply food for those in need?

Ans: Well yes and no, yes food banks do supply food for those in need, however many have clauses attached to that.

Some of the clauses issued by many food banks (paraphrased).

1. Maximum of 3 days food per person, up to and including 3 times a year (9 days total).
2. Must show ties to local area (Excludes homeless persons)
3. Must work (low income) or be in receipt of Welfare Benefits (Persons who have been sanctioned are often excluded).
4. Not live a complicated lifestyle (This is a very ambiguous term, believed to refer to Alcohol, Drugs or have a history of petty crime).

Now that we have excluded about 75% of persons in need (basically they can go starve), the remaining 25% who are more often than not, low paid workers will be given their 3 days supply of food up to 3 times a year.

Not sounding so good now is it?

It gets worse when you find out who are in fact the largest referrers to the Food banks. Despite claims to the contrary by Government Ministers, it is actually the Local JobCentre Plus, normally just after they have accepted a claim for unemployment benefits or just sanctioned a person (often through no fault of their own) for up to 3 years.

Well those who have just made a claim are lucky, they will get their 3 days of canned food and pasta/rice. That’s assuming they actually have somewhere to cook it, or money for Gas/Electric.

For those that have been sanctioned, well if they happen to live in an area in which the local authorities have control in the food banks, they are excluded from anything from the Foodbanks. With no right to challenge this (despite being referred to the foodbanks as their failsafe by the JCP).

So lets get to the Local Authorities, the replacement for Crisis loans/Grants and the food banks.

“In general, ‘cashless grants’ will be offered instead of Loans/Grants for people in emergency situations. This is likely to mean vouchers for food, fuel, clothing and travel”.

In other words as previously stated up to 9 days food via vouchers any given year (3 days maximum, up to a maximum of 3 times a year). These vouchers/referrals are to the local Foodbanks.

Effectively, most local authorities pay in a pocket change amount of about £25K a year into the food banks to employ a full time manager, who in turn runs the food banks, voluntary staff and decides by central Government rules, who obtains help and when.

To put it simply, peeps are donating in so central Government can create the illusion of helping the poor. There are still some independent food banks, but they are slowly being swallowed into the bigger system, in which they are made to comply to the 3days, 3 times a year rule, no matter how much donations they have been given.

When the larger networks obtain too much food for the demand, it appears that this is being dispersed into the likes of the Global Food Banking Network.

So although it is being supplied to the needy, it is more often than not, the needy in other countries. Including the United States.

To be honest I can’t believe that so many peeps are being silent about what is really happening.

Does Mr or Mrs Tax payer really realise that they are paying their taxes into a system that is filtering off a large chunk of that money to International companies, (ATOS springs to mind) in the claim to be cutting the welfare bill, In reality as we know the money is no longer making its way to the poor. Then along come food banks, (an apparently noble cause) asking Mr or Mrs Tax payer to pay again.

The Tax payer is being stung twice and the poor in this country are still not actually getting any more than 2.5% of their actual need for food.

To be honest I know this article is  not going to sit too well with a lot of peeps, but if it gets them asking questions about what is happening, then I am willing to accept some of the flack that is going to come my way over this.

Don’t stop donating on the back of this article, instead contact your local authorities and major food bank organisations to get explanations over what is happening.

Image with courtesy of

Update: I have had it mentioned to me elsewhere, that Global Food Banking networks, that exist to redirect donated food to specified locations around the world ‘do not exist’ or this is just pure fiction on my part, So Here is one such organisation, which redirects donations from multiple sources including, foodbanks excess stock in the UK to other food banks elsewhere in the world
An excess which is created in some areas by policy, not need and made all the more unpalatable when in some regions in the UK, food banks are going empty because of increased demand created by the summer holidays. In which kids do not get a free lunch at school.

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    Anyone subjected to Benefit Sanctions £10 per week for FOOD

    Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions

    Many people, rightly or wrongly, are being sanctioned because it is decided that they have not met their responsibilities regarding their entitlement to Welfare Benefits.

    As a civilised society we must ensure that people at least have food on their plate. Currently anyone under sanction has all benefits stopped. This is draconian and we must ensure that each person at least has sufficient funds for basic food each day.

    This Petition is to demand that anyone under sanction is given £10 per week (for each member in their household) for the purchase of food.

    Currently it is an insult to the humanitarian aspect of society that even Food Bank vouchers are restricted to 3 times a year.

  2. Oh, wow, any further exposure would be wonderful. I don`t know if you spotted but I am the person who started it. I am so incensed by the position people are being put into by sanctions – I see it as a priority. Thank you for any help in circulating it. There is a Twitter Hashtag for it:

  3. Thanks for bringing this to our attention it’s an absolute disgrace! It would explain why my recent offer of a tree-full of eating apples was declined by my local food bank with the excuse that they have no storage facilities for fresh goods…… Or is it just that they wouldn’t last the journey to the States??? Surely any fresh produce would be a bigger benefit than the crisps and chocolate my local food bank is requesting at present?

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