Hunger and food poverty Inquiry gathers first evidence in Birkenhead

Hunger and food poverty Inquiry gathers first evidence in Birkenhead

Hunger and food poverty Inquiry gathers first evidence in Birkenhead

First published in News

The All-Party Parliamentary inquiry into hunger and food poverty held its first evidence gathering session recently in Birkenhead.

The inquiry team, co-chaired by Birkenhead's MP Frank Field and the Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, is investigating the extent of hunger and food poverty in this country, and the root causes behind the rising demand for food banks.

In a series of discussions held at Birkenhead Town Hall, they heard evidence from local churches, charities, food distribution organisations, public services and people who have relied on food banks, on why they thought more people were having to rely on food assistance in order to avoid going hungry.

The team heard from a local resident who had relied on food assistance, who said: "Nobody wants to go to the food bank. Nobody wants to jump through the hoops.

"Everybody would rather have hope," and that some people were turning up to food banks so hungry that they "would eat everything on the table if they could."

A representative from a local primary school told the Inquiry team that children were arriving at school each morning have not eaten since their school meal the previous day, and that they were distressed at having to go home to dark, cold conditions at the end of the school day.

The team heard also that sources of support from families and incomes were struggling to meet people's needs in the face of rising rents, food prices and energy costs.

Since 2003 food, fuel and housing costs have all increased at a greater rate than earnings, with food (46.4%) and fuel costs (154%) increasing by a significantly greater amount than both earnings (27.9%)and overall inflation (37.7%).

Commenting on these initial findings, Mr Field and Bishop Thornton said: "The poorest households have most felt the pinch over the past decade, meaning the last resort of turning to food banks has become a reality for an increasing number of people. There is a real need for help."

The Inquiry team also visited the Trussell Trust Wirral food bank to gather evidence.

The Inquiry is holding its second regional session in Salisbury this Friday, June 6.

Comments (11)

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3:48pm Tue 3 Jun 14

John Bell says...

"Since 2003 food, fuel and housing costs have all increased at a greater rate than earnings"

Strange, Labour keeps claiming it all started in 2010!
"Since 2003 food, fuel and housing costs have all increased at a greater rate than earnings" Strange, Labour keeps claiming it all started in 2010! John Bell
  • Score: 5

3:53pm Tue 3 Jun 14

David Scott says...

It will be interesting to see if the 'findings' of the inquiry turn out to be more complex than the usual arguments put forward.
It will be interesting to see if the 'findings' of the inquiry turn out to be more complex than the usual arguments put forward. David Scott
  • Score: 13

10:45pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Marjestic says...

I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes.
I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes. Marjestic
  • Score: -13

9:15am Wed 4 Jun 14

jeffrey3 says...

Marjestic wrote:
I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes.
you must be going around with your eyes closed and listening to much to the tories lies yes we still still hand down clothes and toys for familys children but this lot have taken away more than any other government from the workers and the poorest in society yet you one wonder don't believe them they abused all the disable people sick unemployed by whot they do telling you they getting rid of yes they leaving them to starve rot kill themselves is this modern Britain become a place were greed is the rule by those in power jeff3
[quote][p][bold]Marjestic[/bold] wrote: I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes.[/p][/quote]you must be going around with your eyes closed and listening to much to the tories lies yes we still still hand down clothes and toys for familys children but this lot have taken away more than any other government from the workers and the poorest in society yet you one wonder don't believe them they abused all the disable people sick unemployed by whot they do telling you they getting rid of yes they leaving them to starve rot kill themselves is this modern Britain become a place were greed is the rule by those in power jeff3 jeffrey3
  • Score: 19

9:36am Wed 4 Jun 14

uncatom says...

Marjestic wrote:
I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes.
But the sad facts are that people are being starved, pensioners are dying of the cold, in this alleged democracy, this bastion of fairness and human rights, the six richest nation in the world, a country that is critical of other nations, you say we should be grateful that as such a country we have food banks for the unemployed and low paid and are fortunate that in some cases we are akin to a third world country, yes how very fortunate we are.

I too remember the days when an army greatcoat served as a duvet, secondhand clothes mainly from jumble sales were the norm for most low paid families, but at least there was employment, what do we have today? industries sold off , utilities sold off , zero hours contracts, and an unelected government that blames everything and everyone for this countries plight whilst helping themselves and their big business friends to the proceeds, as the old adage says the rich get rich and the poor get poorer, yes indeed we are very lucky to live in the land of hope and glory.
[quote][p][bold]Marjestic[/bold] wrote: I hope that those using food banks are genuine and not just using the facility because they are using their money for other things. I remember struggling myself as a young married mum with small children to feed but there was no food banks in those days. We just had to learn to make do and mend and sell things if we needed extra funds. Handing down clothes was the norm but that would probably be frowned on today. When one looks around at other countries and the conditions people have to endure, I think we are very fortunate in this country and perhaps we should be grateful that there are systems in place to avoid anyone starving to death or being cold in their homes.[/p][/quote]But the sad facts are that people are being starved, pensioners are dying of the cold, in this alleged democracy, this bastion of fairness and human rights, the six richest nation in the world, a country that is critical of other nations, you say we should be grateful that as such a country we have food banks for the unemployed and low paid and are fortunate that in some cases we are akin to a third world country, yes how very fortunate we are. I too remember the days when an army greatcoat served as a duvet, secondhand clothes mainly from jumble sales were the norm for most low paid families, but at least there was employment, what do we have today? industries sold off , utilities sold off , zero hours contracts, and an unelected government that blames everything and everyone for this countries plight whilst helping themselves and their big business friends to the proceeds, as the old adage says the rich get rich and the poor get poorer, yes indeed we are very lucky to live in the land of hope and glory. uncatom
  • Score: 20

7:26pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96.
One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 1

6:29am Thu 5 Jun 14

littlestar84 says...

This is the real face of poverty in my home town, the face we would rather ignore in favour of 'benefit scroungers' rhetoric. Children are living in dire circumstances and going hungry. Carers of disabled spouses and family members are particularly socially excluded and vulnerable to socio-economic deprivation. Some of the sights of poverty I witness make me cry at night. This government is killing the poor to pay for the jet set lifestyles of the rich. Open your eyes people.
This is the real face of poverty in my home town, the face we would rather ignore in favour of 'benefit scroungers' rhetoric. Children are living in dire circumstances and going hungry. Carers of disabled spouses and family members are particularly socially excluded and vulnerable to socio-economic deprivation. Some of the sights of poverty I witness make me cry at night. This government is killing the poor to pay for the jet set lifestyles of the rich. Open your eyes people. littlestar84
  • Score: 4

9:16am Thu 5 Jun 14

uncatom says...

Joeblogg85 wrote:
One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96.
How does working for the sun newspaper affect the way he fulfils his role as an MP ? yes the sun is not welcome on Merseyside, but those that pedalled those vicious lies, the police and the Tory government have for a long time tried to avoid their part, I am still waiting to hear the comments that were made by Thatcher at that time, they were more than ready to point the finger at the innocent, take a look back to the media at that time and the comments made by members of the then Tory government.
[quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96.[/p][/quote]How does working for the sun newspaper affect the way he fulfils his role as an MP ? yes the sun is not welcome on Merseyside, but those that pedalled those vicious lies, the police and the Tory government have for a long time tried to avoid their part, I am still waiting to hear the comments that were made by Thatcher at that time, they were more than ready to point the finger at the innocent, take a look back to the media at that time and the comments made by members of the then Tory government. uncatom
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Joeblogg85 says...

uncatom wrote:
Joeblogg85 wrote:
One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96.
How does working for the sun newspaper affect the way he fulfils his role as an MP ? yes the sun is not welcome on Merseyside, but those that pedalled those vicious lies, the police and the Tory government have for a long time tried to avoid their part, I am still waiting to hear the comments that were made by Thatcher at that time, they were more than ready to point the finger at the innocent, take a look back to the media at that time and the comments made by members of the then Tory government.
Hey uncatom,

Polite response.

My feelings are simply this. Given people from Wirral perished in the disaster and The Sun was involved in a smear campaign then I feel no matter how long passes then it remains inappropriate to work and take money from such an organisation.

Regards Joe
[quote][p][bold]uncatom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joeblogg85[/bold] wrote: One question.......how can Frank Field work for The Sun Newspaper? People of Birkenhead get rid at the next election. Your MP is a disgrace. Justice for the 96.[/p][/quote]How does working for the sun newspaper affect the way he fulfils his role as an MP ? yes the sun is not welcome on Merseyside, but those that pedalled those vicious lies, the police and the Tory government have for a long time tried to avoid their part, I am still waiting to hear the comments that were made by Thatcher at that time, they were more than ready to point the finger at the innocent, take a look back to the media at that time and the comments made by members of the then Tory government.[/p][/quote]Hey uncatom, Polite response. My feelings are simply this. Given people from Wirral perished in the disaster and The Sun was involved in a smear campaign then I feel no matter how long passes then it remains inappropriate to work and take money from such an organisation. Regards Joe Joeblogg85
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Thu 5 Jun 14

uncatom says...

Hi Joe, I can tell from your response you are passionate about this, I was just pointing out that the police and the Tories made the bullets for the sun to fire, and of course the sun being a Tory rag didn't need much encouragement. but sadly politicians of all parties see the need to feed at the trough as they are not satisfied with inflated expense accounts, subsidies etc, I am not a big fan of Mr Field after he crossed the floor, but in this instance he is highlighting the affects of the condems on the poor, disabled and the vulnerable in our society.

Take care, uncatom
Hi Joe, I can tell from your response you are passionate about this, I was just pointing out that the police and the Tories made the bullets for the sun to fire, and of course the sun being a Tory rag didn't need much encouragement. but sadly politicians of all parties see the need to feed at the trough as they are not satisfied with inflated expense accounts, subsidies etc, I am not a big fan of Mr Field after he crossed the floor, but in this instance he is highlighting the affects of the condems on the poor, disabled and the vulnerable in our society. Take care, uncatom uncatom
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Sat 7 Jun 14

MX says...

"Hunger and food poverty Inquiry gathers first evidence in Birkenhead".
Doesn't that headline make your heart swell with pride?.
"Hunger and food poverty Inquiry gathers first evidence in Birkenhead". Doesn't that headline make your heart swell with pride?. MX
  • Score: 2

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