Food banks making government more unaccountable

Co-ordinator of local a food bank says Britain is being misled by local initiatives.

Food banks could be one of the reasons the government is taking a lax approach  to poverty.

Nadine Daniel, co-ordinator of the two Liverpool cathedrals’ Hope+ Food bank believes food banks are “intrinsically unfair” and the relief they provide could be self-perpetuating.

According to her, Britain risks following in the ‘food steps’ of America, where charities providing food have become businesses rather than being there to help those in need.

She said:

“They’re big business in America. It’s become an industry in itself, employing large numbers of people via government grants. They’re not food banks any more, they’re like hypermarkets.”

Her remarks come after it was revealed that hundreds of holiday clubs in Merseyside were forced to provide meals as parents were struggling to feed their children.

“It could certainly be said we are removing the obligations of government to sort this out. As long as no one is dying of hunger, there is a danger that continuing to run food banks abrogates the government’s responsibility to deal with food poverty.”

Daniel believes that this dangerous trend could mislead people into believing that the growth of food banks relates to the governments initiatives to help people.

“Giving food is a sticking plaster – food banks are not actually the answer. They’re intrinsically unfair, and there is a huge stigma and stress attached to using them.”

She adds that food banks should ultimately be used as an “emergency support” and that it is “everybody’s duty to help each other out of poverty”, instead of some Christian groups who are turning it into a competition.

“I do have concerns that a small minority are more about ‘we’re Christian, we should open a food bank’, even if there’s one down the road already which is short of volunteers.”


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