"people going to food banks had started returning food that needed to be warmed up because they could not afford to switch on their electricity"
It's the panic in the eyes that is different. When we were in Poplar, food parcels were rarely accompanied with the level of panic that there are today 10-15 years later. Food parcels were invariably a support to a particular culture where poor decisions, budgeting and substance misuse were the issues.
Yesterday I realised the difference.
Invariably the 0% tolerance employed for the benefit of the minority of those that milk the system is impacting those who need support for the season in their lives which is now. Immediate sanctions, changes in benefits that leave families without even for a short period - devastate. I don't like seeing the panic in the eyes of a mother.
The longer food banks are necessary, the easier their existence becomes acceptable. Foodbanks through their very existence communicate that there is something wrong. The need of Foodbanks is unacceptable, there should be no need for them, we should never be comfortable with their existence and need to work to see their end!
In the meantime bless all those volunteers and the generosity of those who realise sitting back, watching and talking about it, is not an option! The spirit of working together against the common enemy that is poverty and hunger that I see each week is inspirational!