Thursday, 29 October 2015

The food bank scam

"Job advisers are set to be placed in food banks across the country, Iain Duncan Smith has told MPs."

"The work and pensions secretary said he would like to see a trial scheme in Manchester rolled out nationwide after it was given "very strong feedback".

"The Trussell Trust, which operates food banks, says the facilities were used more than one million times in 2014-15..."

"... Labour's welfare spokesman Owen Smith said it showed the "grim reality" that emergency food aid had become an established part of the welfare system."

"The country’s biggest network of foodbanks charges volunteers £1,500 to hand out free food in its name, it emerged yesterday."

"The Trussell Trust asks for the ‘donation’ from churches and community groups which open new foodbanks."

"The money, volunteers are told, is needed to pay for the Trust’s staff, branding materials, PR advice and relationships with supermarkets such as Tesco."

Read more:

The public hand in food, free of charge; volunteers work in the foodbanks for free while the Trussell Trust sets itself up like a company paying its executives high salaries.

It`s Big Society.

The end of the Social Fund

Mel Kelly was writing about it in 2011.

"But "crisis loans", I learned, are small interest-free loans made by the DWP from the social fund to people in financial crisis due to unforeseen circumstances such as deaths, flooding, a child in hospital. They’re used to buy food and/or credits for gas and electric pre-payment metres in winter when social security benefits are unlikely to cover the weekly winter pre-payments required."

"While researching crisis loans I stumbled across a coalition government consultation paper issued in February 2011 stating the government’s intention to abolish the social fund, and instead give the money, un-ring-fenced, to English Councils who could refer people to community schemes (citing the Trussell Trust Food Parcel Service) rather than giving people crisis loans."

"I had come a full circle. Hadn’t the minister told me that only those refused crisis loans would be given vouchers for food parcels? And here was the government proposing to abolish the social fund. . .in which case wouldn’t everyone who currently qualifies for a crisis loan get just a voucher for a food parcel in future? How many people would this affect?"

"In March I wrote again asking my MP to ask Steve Webb how many crisis loans were given out in England in 2010/2011. The minister’s stated in reply, dated 26th of March, that "2,697,000" were given out. I was in absolute shock. The government was advising councils not to give crisis loans, as the DWP currently do, but instead to send perhaps 2.6 million families, each year, to their friends at the Trussell Trust with vouchers for a 3 day family food parcel containing no fresh meat, no fresh milk, no fresh bread or vegetables."

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