The article by Sam Wollaston (Emma Revie food bank supremo: “It’s the best job in the world – and it shouldn’t have to exist,” May 31) was a timely and depressing reminder of the growing dependence on -visible food banks in British society.
In our local campaigns ahead of the recent Scottish parliamentary elections, my wife came to the panel as a long-time volunteer with our local food bank and asked a simple question of all parties represented: ‘What steps will your side take? to fire me? “
In their responses, five of the panelists mentioned various universal credit reforms, the review of personal independence payment procedures and the introduction of a realistic living wage. The sixth panelist, representing the current ruling party in the UK, bluntly dismissed the question, replying (and I’m paraphrasing): “Unfortunately, food banks are needed and, for the foreseeable future, they will remain a vital part of the economy. 21st century British fabric. society. “With such deeply entrenched negative attitudes on the part of the UK ruling party potentially for years to come, I fear Emma Revie and her colleagues at the Trussell Trust will be working long.
Linlithgow, West Lothian
In 2006-2007, under Labor, I co-founded the Community Emergency Foodbank (CEF) in Oxford. Since CEF was founded, we have provided emergency food to over 40,000 of Oxford’s poorest people.
Trussell Trust CEO Emma Revie says in your article that the need for food banks stems “from a failure of our social security system … it’s in the government’s gift of increasing universal credit and others. changes to benefits ”. She says food banks “shouldn’t exist”. The clear implication being that if the government increased the level of benefits, the need for food banks would be eliminated.
I doubt that is true. Food banks stretch across the globe, from Tasmania to Los Angeles, and across the EU: none, of any political stripe, has created a benefit system that responds to the diverse reasons people need food banks. These include: desertion, alcoholism, mental illness, drugs, prison, divorce, family breakdown, job loss, benefit shortfalls, gambling and human madness. Unfortunately, food banks are here to stay.