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Dear Richard Littlejohn: Please Don’t Pretend That Hunger and Poverty Are Not Real, Right Here, Right Now

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I don’t want to question the fact that Mr Littlejohn has a job to do, and that job happens to be a columnist, and that being a columnist happens to require the ability to write to extremes.

Neither do I have the time or inclination to defend myself or other (female) foodbank volunteers who were on the sneering end of Mr Littlejohn’s typing finger today. I’d hazard a guess that most volunteers actually couldn’t give a whistle what Mr Littlejohn thinks of us; we just think it’s important to help out our neighbours who are struggling.

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What’s wrong with benefit sanctions?

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Picture this: you’re ten minutes late for a meeting at work. You’re very sorry. You explain to your boss how the bus was on diversion and took half an hour longer than usual. Your boss has no time to discuss it and simply tells you that you won’t get paid this month. That’s it, not a fine, or some kind of reduction, but nothing, no pay, absolutely nothing.

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The test of a ‘One Nation’ budget

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A country of security and opportunity for everyone, at every stage of life; these were the words David Cameron used to set out his bold One Nation vision in the Queen’s Speech this May.

As we digest the results of the budget today, the words seem as good a test to judge it by as any. To be true to the One Nation ideal the budget must answer a simple question those of us in the foodbanks movement ponder every day. What can be done to reduce the number of people in poverty and hunger?

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Whatever impact the election has on hunger, for foodbanks it is a time for hope

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The morning after the general election, The Trussell Trust Twitter feed was full of people offering support for foodbanks. Ordinary, generous people are donating funds and food because they’re worried that we’ll see the need for emergency food rise due to reductions in welfare spending.

Foodbank managers are worried. We have seen in the past that the implementation of welfare reform sees increases in people facing hunger and turning to foodbanks. We know that we could see another rise in need. But what is the answer?

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Eleven foodbank myths you must not fall for

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1) Foodbanks only provide food

Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a lot more than food; that’s because we recognise that tackling hunger also means tackling the underlying cause of the crisis. Trussell Trust foodbanks signpost people to local agencies and charities who help people break out of poverty.

Over 90% of Trussell Trust foodbanks provide extras alongside emergency food: this can vary from toiletries and sanitary products, to baby basics; holiday clubs; CV clinics; and financial, welfare and housing advice. We’re currently partnering with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis to pilot hosting financial and debt advisers in foodbanks. This extra level of support aims to help people during their immediate crisis, whilst also recognising that it can take more than food to help someone break out of their situation long term.

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We need to talk about stock cubes and hot water

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‘Client told me her & husb have stock cubes & mug of hot water for dinner 4 x week so that their kids can eat’ tweeted Rob McDowall, Director of the Scottish Welfare Support and Advice Network yesterday.

I’m asking myself the question, if the Sun wanted to write about food poverty and foodbanks, wasn’t this the story? Why did they choose instead to spend a week digging around actively trying to find something to discredit the UK’s biggest foodbank charity?

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This Easter let’s help turn suffering into hope and new life

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What comes to mind when we hear the word ‘foodbank’? My hunch is that you might think about last week’s opening question in the leaders debate, the donation point in your local supermarket or the cartoon about queues outside foodbanks in this week’s Times. I wonder if anyone reading this would immediately say ‘hope’.

But foodbanks do give hope. It’s one of the most common things people say to us when they’re at a point of crisis and have been helped: ‘you’ve given me the hope I needed to carry on’, ‘this is a lifeline’, ‘you’ve made me feel human.’

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Chris Mould responds to All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in Britain

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The APPG on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.

This important report could be a landmark document, but this depends on how we all respond. The report contains a host of well thought through recommendations. If acted on by all the key players, they would make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society and blights the lives of many, many of our poorest citizens.

This document could turn the tide on a challenging problem which the Trussell Trust has been drawing attention to for over seven years, since first embarking on our Hidden Hunger awareness campaign.

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How ‘Feeding Britain’ could make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society

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The All Party Parliamentary Group on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.

This important report could be a landmark document, but this depends on how we all respond. The report contains a host of well thought through recommendations. If acted on by all the key players, they would make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society and blights the lives of many, many of our poorest citizens.

This document could turn the tide on a challenging problem which the Trussell Trust has been drawing attention to for over seven years, since first embarking on our Hidden Hunger awareness campaign.

But it does all depend.

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