Thinking Anglicans

Food Poverty in Britain

The Church Urban Fund has issued a report, introduced by its Executive Director, Canon Paul Hackwood …

… that sheds light on the extent of food poverty in the UK. It shows that 1 in 50 British adults used a food bank in 2016. It also shows that 5% of British adults missed meals last year because they could not afford to eat.

These figures offer a deeply troubling reflection of food poverty in Britain. At Church Urban Fund we are calling for a response to this from all sections of society. Government, businesses, and individuals all have a responsibility to make a difference. The responsibility for tackling this issue cannot be left with churches and charities, important though this work is.

I encourage you to take a look at the report and our recommendations for action. We are working hard to bring an end to hunger in the UK and so any contributions you can make to this work will be greatly appreciated.

The full report can be found at the CUF website here.

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Shamus
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Shamus

Should we be thinking of “mutual flourishing” to mean all people getting the calories and vitamins they need to live?

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The Report’s findings are are generally applicable to Canada where food banks have become institutionalized. The Canadian context would also support the conclusion that research poses, i.e. “.. a strong challenge to those who argue that growth in food banks has been supply led, driven by the growth of food bank provision itself. This research demonstrates that the experience of food poverty is far more extensive than food bank use…” The Report asks about the response of churches (p. 14). Churches might augment advocacy and charity with economic development. Increasingly Canadian churches are exploring “property development” to fund buildings with… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

How long have the Tories been in power and what has Mrs. May actually done for the Just About Managing? A damning report. Can it really be 60 years since Harold Macmillan said in 1957 – the British people “have never had it so good”? If Supermac came back today I wonder what he would make of all the Food Banks in every major town and city? He certainly could not say of Tory Britain in 2017 as he said in 1957 – “You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime nor… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
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It’s easy to rant at politicians, and I dare say they deserve some rants. But what about the increasing use of technology and automation resulting in fewer jobs? People lose self respect through unemployment. They lose a sense of purpose. They lose hope. They don’t see the point of being bothered. Zombie movies are more than just horror fiction. The CEOs of technology companies need to act for the welfare of those they put out of work, not just their shareholders. And what about the availability of cheap goods from overseas – I am complicit – resulting in fewer jobs… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Surely politicians are in a position of power to do something about the scandal of Food poverty in Britain? I note that on the whole Food Banks are the initiative of local churches and not one coming from those who stalk the corridors of parliament and who exist in the Westminster bubble.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“But what about the increasing use of technology and automation resulting in fewer jobs?”

If we allow the spinning jenny to automate weaving, however will people find work?

Stanley Monkhouse
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You’re quite right IO. Maybe I’m just too old and grumpy to see clearly any more.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Interested Observer, but it’s true, isn’t it, that the jobs lost through automation were the one that gave the majority of not academic men employment to feed their families. What we have now are highly skilled jobs in manufacturing/tech service and jobs in the low-paid and low status service sector. The question Britain has yet to answer is how to bring meaningful employment back into the former Welsh mining communities, to Boston and to Mansfield, where the biggest employer is Sport Direct. There’s a mismatch between where the jobs are (high tech bikes are being made and serviced in London… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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There is no excuse for foodbanks. That’s an appalling indictment of a broken community. They are welcome because there’s a need (I have kids who come to school with no breakfast). but the fact they need to exist is… kind of disgusting. The answer, the solution, (I believe) is re-distribution of wealth, so that the resources of the world are shared between *all* the people of the world, and not just a privileged few. We need to encourage and promote communist values. We basically need to break bread together. We also need to disassociate price and value, and recognise value… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

“If we allow the spinning jenny to automate weaving, however will people find work?” By moving to cities, cramming into slums, and hoping that, if they can’t avoid Cholera or industrial injury, at least their children will. Eight hour working days? Schooling instead of picking the fluff from looms? Mandatory vacations? Crazy talk! The Market is king, and will remain so, with robber barons its high priests. We must stop being naive and face reality. If I wanted to make a compelling case against restrictions on automation, the human cost of the industrial revolution wouldn’t head the list. Allowing automation… Read more »

Jo
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Jo

Why regulate jobs into existence that don’t need to be there? There is no innate benefit to labour that makes outlawing automation justifiable. The key is to spread the benefits of automation as far as possible. Ultimately that means wealth taxes and going after the tax havens, and probably UBI to boot. Forcing people to sacrifice most of their waking hours doing work that could be done by machine seems utterly iniquitous.

James Byron
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James Byron

“There is no innate benefit to labour that makes outlawing automation justifiable.” On this, we disagree: even setting aside the personal benefits of employment, millions left to languish permanently on the dole would be stripped of independence, left at the mercy of the state. It’d be neo-serfdom, but serfdom without any sense of noblesse oblige, with most of the population reduced to perpetual minority, living at the whim of unfeeling bureaucracy. Besides, who’s talking about “outlawing automation”? Certainly not me: restrictions to ban companies from engineering wholesale unemployment to line their shareholders’ pockets won’t outlaw something that’s been with us… Read more »