Food Banks – Crumbs from the Rich Man’s Table.
Crumbs from the Rich Man’s Table.
“We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives.
Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it.”
The Guardian reports.
Local authorities are preparing to invest in charity-run food banks to cope with an expected deluge in demand for crisis help from low income families hit by welfare cuts, raising the spectre of depression-era US “breadlines”.
Cuts next year to the social fund, which provides emergency aid to vulnerable people, mean that from April 2013 many councils will no longer be able to provide cash help to applicants. Instead they will offer “in kind” support such as referring clients to food banks and issuing electronic food vouchers.
The move, which is being considered by both Labour and Conservative councils as well as the Welsh government, will for the first time build voluntarily donated food distribution into mainstream welfare provision, and will be regarded by critics as a dramatic substitution of the state’s obligations in favour of ad hoc voluntary assistance.
There has been rapid expansion in food banks over the past two years in response to growing numbers of people unable to feed themselves or their families as a result of rising living costs, shrinking incomes and welfare benefit cuts.