Food banks were a rare thing once upon a time but unfortunately the use has increased by 73% in the past 5 years.
Families whose budget does not stretch far enough, despite many working full time, have been forced to reach out to the charitable organisations to feed their children.
Thanks to terrible austerity choices by the Conservatives, a new and complicated welfare system, and the vilification of single families and disabled people, millions of children have been forced into poverty. The introduction of Universal Credit by the Tory Party created massive issues and halted many families’ money, meaning they find it difficult to feed their children. Many parents have been going without a meal to ensure their children eat a decent portion.
According to the Trussell Trust network the reasons for food bank usage in 2017-18 were ‘income not covering essential costs’, ‘benefit delays’ and ‘benefit changes’. As a relatively wealthy country, the poverty figures are shocking, to say the least.
In light of these societal changes, Kate Milner (My Name Is Not Refugee), has written a book to help encourage empathy in children, and help normalise the use of food banks for the sake of the child’s self esteem. Of course it is not ‘normal’ to have millions of children in poverty, but that should not weigh on the shoulders of the kids involved.
“Mum works really hard, but today there is no money left and no food in the cupboards. Forced to visit the local food bank, Mum feels ashamed that they have to rely on the kindness of others, but her young daughter can still see all the good in her day like reading and drawing, and even the food bank. Maybe one day things will be different but for now together they brighten up even the darkest of days. A moving insight into the sad rise and necessity of food banks from the perspective of society’s most vulnerable, and an essential book to help develop empathy in younger readers.”