Monday, 1 December 2014

Food bank Christmas Collection

Last weekend I joined Labour councillors at the Tesco in Chatham to collect food and donations on behalf of Medway Bank. The Medway food bank and has fed around over 8,500 people since it opened in December 2011. This figure includes a staggering 3,000 children.

The Church of England is absolutely right to highlight how the government needs to be doing more to help the most disadvantaged. We have a cost-of-living crisis in the UK coupled with a benefits system in shambles (with one lady reported last week waiting months). Coupled with a zero-hour contract culture we are seeing low-pay becoming endemic in communities. This hurts Britain over the long term as it dents aspiration and hinders social mobility.  The need for food banks has rocketed over recent years with 500,000 people across the UK now relying on food donations.

I was deeply impressed with the generosity of the people of Chatham. I cannot praise the work of the Trussell Trust highly enough but it is a very sad state of affairs that so many people cannot afford food in the sixth biggest economy in the world.

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