About food banks- just a bit surprised really

(382 Posts)
topbannana Mon 29-Apr-13 21:21:35

I have just come across a notice in the paper from church, appealing for donations for the local food bank.
Thankfully I have never had need for a food bank but I think they are a great idea and I was happy to buy extra and donate.
The list however was quite specific (understandable) but I was amazed to see requests for custard, rice pudding, biscuits and sugar. In my book these would be considered luxuries, in that if I was short on my grocery budget we would forego them.
Surely the food bank is there to supply people with emergency essentials not extras? As it goes I will simply buy loo rolls, pasta, powdered milk or something else off the list and ignore the bits I don't agree with. I don't really think I am but AIBU?

IncognitoIsMyFavouriteWord Mon 29-Apr-13 21:23:30

because the people that need them just might need a little treat considering things are so badhmm


Fairylea Mon 29-Apr-13 21:24:50

Goodness me. Poor people should only eat bread, water and vegetables. God forbid a struggling family might want to actually give their child an occasional treat in an otherwise miserable week.

Yes let them eat gruel


AllThatGlistens Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:21

It'll be gruel and the workhouses next ffs hmm

SanitaryOwl Mon 29-Apr-13 21:26:53

YABslightlyU buy the healthy things, and don't begrudge the people who need charity a little treat. It's thinking like yours that ensured people in workhouses lived on gruel.

Pancakeflipper Mon 29-Apr-13 21:27:03

Sugar is a basic isn't it ? ( we bake alot so always got at least 3 types in)

Rice pudding is hardly a roulade - that's basic too isn't it? And filling.

Sounds an ok list to me.

Dementedhousewife Mon 29-Apr-13 21:27:06

FFS, no treats for the poor?
Here have a biscuit.


Do you not think sugar and sweet things could be quite good for someone who is low on energy?

I doubt they are choosing those things just to provide 'luxuries'. You obviously think you know best, however.

Yonionekanobe Mon 29-Apr-13 21:27:46

Why not just donate gruel and be done with it hmm

Demented don't give the op a biscuit....no treats allowed.

Yonionekanobe Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:46

Oops - major crossposts!

Bridgetbidet Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:47

I have actually had to calm myself down before replying to this as it has made me so angry.

The people who use these kind of banks are in the most desperate, horrible depressing circumstances. Would you really be that much of a miserable bitch that you would deny them the tiny pleasure of a packet of biscuits which cost about 25p?

A bit of custard might be the nicest thing that happens to some of these people in their weeks. Your attitude seems to be almost that you want them to be punished again by having horrible food too because being poor is somehow their fault.

I buy stuff for a foodbank and yes I do put practical stuff in like pasta but I always put in a chocolate pud or some character spaghetti shapes for kids. Honestly, if it bought the tiniest bit of pleasure to someone in such nasty circumstances I think it would be worth a billion times more than powdered sodding milk.

MissAnnersley Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:52

Does it really take that much imagination to wonder why these items are put in?

Remarkably it seems to be so.


picnicbasketcase Mon 29-Apr-13 21:28:58

Luxury items that would be surprising on such a list would be foie gras, quails eggs and caviar. Sugar, not so much.

StuffezLaYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:11

Yes, those well-known extravagances like tinned rice pudding and custard. They'll be wanting truffles and caviar next.

When you're so far into the shit you have to resort to a food bank, the slightest little highlight, like being able to give your kids some pudding, make a difference.

Jengnr Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:16

YABU in thinking food banks are a good idea as well.

We should be ashamed people in an allegedly civilised society are reduced to using them. Bitterly ashamed.

Yanbu to buy what you want, but yabu about your attitude to a bit of rice pudding or a bag of sugar, can you imagine being so tight financially you need to use a food bank and what a small luxury like that would mean.

I donate to ours monthly and I always buy 'treat' things, if we were in that position my kids would be ecstatic to get some biscuits.

Lorelailovesluke Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:33

Nothing wrong with food that is filling and has calories to keep people going.

noisytoys Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:38

If a family has absolutely no money and has to use a food bank, this will most probably be the only treat they have. YABU!!!

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:29:49


ClaraOswald Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:00

Rice pudding is warm and filling.

Corygal Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:50


Which, in either context, is not a luxury.

UniS Mon 29-Apr-13 21:30:52

Custard makes stewed fruit into a pudding that children might actually eat.

PastaBeeandCheese Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:05

YABU. I have just set up a standing order to my local food bank. I trust the organisers know what people need.

I totally agree with people saying a few very cheap and sensible tasty things like sugar are nice to have.

But they're not just treats. Sugar and sweet things give a quick energy hit - that's why you give someone in shock sweet tea. We're used to thinking sugar is only for 'treats' and not 'necessary' because we're mostly well-nourished. If someone isn't well nourished and is feeling dizzy from low blood sugar, something sweet will be good for them, won't it?

Iamsparklyknickers Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:40

Pretty sure a diabetic would have cause to be grateful for a biscuit if their sugar crashed...

Never mind when you're running on nothing something like rice pudding is filling and gives you an energy boost - or if you really can't stretch a meal to more than filling up the kids a couple of biscuits and a cup of tea fills a hole.

Don't buy the items if you don't agree with people in need actually 'needing' them, tbh something is better than nothing and it's not like they'll taste the judgement in the dried pasta you donate.

Lilithmoon Mon 29-Apr-13 21:31:52

Blimey OP, pretty mean hearted...

thingamajig Mon 29-Apr-13 21:32:00

They are all able to be stored at room temperature, and have months in date, which is very important in the store room of a food bank. They are highly palatable (most people like them/will eat them). They are high energy, the sort of thing you need/want most of when you are cold, tired and hungry. So no, YABU but I can see how things first appear to be luxuries.

We should be ashamed people in an allegedly civilised society are reduced to using them. Bitterly ashamed.


Trill Mon 29-Apr-13 21:32:35

The point is that foods need to be things that last a long time, are appealing, and don't require other (expensive or short-life) foods to turn them into something that you want to eat.

e.g. if you wanted to get someone a nice pudding, rice pudding would be better than angel delight because you'd need to buy milk to make up the angel delight.

I am actually speechless.

And trust me, that rarely happens.

HolyFocaccia Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:18

Have my first biscuit

Shame there is no powdered milk emoticon otherwise I would have given you that.

DiscoDonkey Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:28

Sugar is a luxury? Blimey. Hope you are only buying value loo roll too.

Fairylea Mon 29-Apr-13 21:33:37

I feel so sorry for dc in families who are so poor they need to use a food bank. Can you imagine how exciting it would be for them to find some biscuits or some custard in there? My ds is 11 months old and he loves little treats, it's part of the enjoyment of life! And also children do need fats and carbs!

I am so angry. I don't think you have any concept of what it is to actually struggle to be able to provide for your kids.

Trill Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:00

I guess if you had angel delight and powdered milk you could do that.

Could you?

Fuck me

I hope you're not daring to buy 2-ply toilet paper...god forbid they dare to wipe their arses on the luxury that is 2-ply

picnicbasketcase Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:21

<applauds jengnr's post>

LittleEsme Mon 29-Apr-13 21:34:58

I could cry when I think of families surviving on the basics. By all means, buy the staple foods that keep families from starving, but a treat here and there is nothing to us and everything to those that need to use the food banks. My chapel has a food bank and I add to it every Sunday. Pudding Rice and sugar will be what I buy for next time.

And yes, it's fucking shameful that our own people in Britain are needing food banks in the first place. Where are we going wrong? sad

gordyslovesheep Mon 29-Apr-13 21:35:26

you 'don't agree' with poor people having nice treats - very Christian of you !

You would hate the care packages we use - at Christmas they had chocolate and mince pies and Pringles !

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:35:45

Might out myself here, but our local foodbank recently helped a chap who had no food for him or his 4 children. Called the foodbank from a phonebox using his last £1.20 but the foodbank had shut for the day and he did not have a voucher. The next day he and one of his children walked eight miles in freezing conditions (father didn't have a jacket either) to collect a voucher and then to the foodbank.
I don't begrudge him a tin of rice pudding for trying to provide for his children.

cozietoesie Mon 29-Apr-13 21:36:41

If you're living on a heck of a tight budget, OP, custard powder and sugar are good staples. Got some bananas going a bit brown because you bought them on Reduced? Pour some custard over them, leave to set and you've got yummy banana pudding for you and the DCs. Likewise tired cake (microwave a bit) and tarting up all sorts of Reduced shelf goodies.

Real life budgeting may not be as healthy as you would wish but it doesn't always rely on pasta and fresh herbs. The items you quoted sound like realistic suggestions to me.

Icelollycraving Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:34

Yabu. Seriously mean spirited.
I have looked for a local food bank locally but very surprisingly can't find one (to donate to). Can anyone suggest a way to donate?

foslady Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:53

Rice pudding and custard are nourishing foods if you are unwell - easy to eat, gentle on the stomach and a way of getting milk into the body, what's wrong with them?
Just because you've hit hard times doesn't mean you should be made to forgo a biscuit ffs.....life's hard enough as it is when you're at that point.

Have you ever thought about having a more Christian attitude. OP rather than judgemental hmm

webwiz Mon 29-Apr-13 21:38:24

Food banks give people three days of food that is non perishable and has enough calories to fulfil average daily requirements. Its not exactly exciting food and a life were your only luxury is a biscuit is hardly extravagant.

I volunteer in the CAB up until about 6 months ago it was rare to have people coming in with no money for food but now its nearly every day.

Flobbadobs Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:17

Seriously OP? No luxuries allowed? I'm glad you don't live round here then, our local foodbank at the library has a list of essentials but will happily accept anything else as long as they have a fairly long use by date.
At Easter the local Sainsbury's had Easter Eggs on sale for a pound each -fairly big ones too- most of them were bought and donated to the foodbank. If a person is so desparate that they have to rely on foodbanks to feed their family (a fact that as Jengr rightly says we should be ashamed of) then surely no one could deny them the right to give their children a small treat? Or have we as a supposedly civilised society really got to the stage where the Poor are so undeserving of anything but contempt that a bag of sugar or a packet of custard is regarded as a luxury and something they are not worthy of receiving?

Jinty64 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:27

Rice pudding, custard and biscuits can be eaten cold, as they come. There are times when some people do not have the facilities to cook.

FoundAChopinLizt Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:32

Where has the op gone?

mrsden Mon 29-Apr-13 21:39:38

You would begrudge someone a tin of custard? The food has to be non perishable, easy to prepare/ can be eaten cold because the person could have no cooker, high in calories. Some people have no idea what poverty is.

hurricanewyn Mon 29-Apr-13 21:40:34

When we were little we needed help like this - the Saint Vincent de Paul brought a food parcel around to our house one evening a week for a little while.

I was 9 years old and I can still remember our excitement when we had a croissant each! We'd never even seen them before smile

YABU but you probably know that now

BriansBrain Mon 29-Apr-13 21:40:48

I agree with many of these posts. When we are having last week before payday blues I concentrate on puddings on top of home made basic sop and cheap rolls for the children and as said above a cup of tea and biscuits for me or a bowl of cereal.

Agel delight is also good because its made with milk and tins of mandarins.

Can you imagine that the best point in your day is picking up from the food bank and your DC delving in to see if there are any treats?

LittleEsme Mon 29-Apr-13 21:40:54

IceLollycraving - try your local Church or Chapel? They may have a donation box.

quoteunquote Mon 29-Apr-13 21:40:59


groundhog day?

OP goads and leaves.

or journalists looking for pre election MN sound bites,

either way 0/10

no style, no originality, not even amusing.
yawn smiley

exoticfruits Mon 29-Apr-13 21:42:30

There was a woman with a baby on TV the other night, she had a short time where she was living on rice and she got a food bank parcel - it was a lifesaver and the thing that really cheered her up was getting chocolate. She is now back at work and earning enough to buy food but I'm sure that the chocolate did her a power of good. Workhouses were grim- I don't think we want to get back to that attitude. YABU.
People also donate whatever they want- if they want to give biscuits it is their choice.

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:42:51
SlowlorisIncognito Mon 29-Apr-13 21:45:14

I think most food banks do try to be nutritionally balanced. The thing is that a nutritionally balanced diet does contain carbohydrates. Rice pudding and custard will help fill people up, which is good if they do not have much food. Biscuits can be used for a burst of energy if there is not much sugar in the diet.

Tbh, I think sugar is a staple food not a luxury, as it is used in all kinds of baking, including for example making bread- which may be cheaper for the family than buying from the supermarket, and home made bread is obviously nutritionally better than the cheaper supermarket breads.

Viviennemary Mon 29-Apr-13 21:45:42

I think YABU. Sugar and biscuits are hardly total luxuries. Nor is custard.-

Jinsei Mon 29-Apr-13 21:45:46

Thank you, OP. Your post has inspired me to go and buy a load of "treats" with my next shop to donate to the local food bank.

It's bad enough that people are being forced into the position of needing foodbanks. Why the he'll shouldn't they have a few small treats? hmm

BlackeyedSusan Mon 29-Apr-13 21:46:28

custard and rice pudding are filling and have some milk in. also they do not take much heating up and use little power.

how do you know that they have not been forgoing "luxuries" to get to this state already?

Ruprekt Mon 29-Apr-13 21:47:15

I agree with you OP.

If I cannot afford it then I do not buy it.

I would have thought food banks were for emergencies only too.

exoticfruits Mon 29-Apr-13 21:47:52

I have been putting in things like pasta and cereal, I shall now add some treats,so thank you OP.

ohforfoxsake Mon 29-Apr-13 21:48:12

They are on the bottom of the list which goes out with the box. Its on the 'included if we have them'.

Tinned puds are the one thing we are short of.

Asda deliver to our local foodbank so you can order online.

oh dear god.....

BlackeyedSusan Mon 29-Apr-13 21:48:58

hobnobs, don't know why you are complaining about demented... hobnobs are luxuries too, now bugger off.... grin


OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Apr-13 21:50:04

Evening all

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 21:50:09

YABU! FFS. Then don't donate them.

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:50:36

One of the Tressell foodbanks recently provided a food box for a mum who had eaten nothing for 4 days, except for dog biscuits, because she fed her children the only food in the house.

FullOfChoc Mon 29-Apr-13 21:50:41

Yabu, I agree with previous posters,much better to send them some money as they can get much more for the money if they buy things wholesale in bulk.

Blimey! that got a very angry response! Custard and rice pudding fair enough, but I'm not sure I'd go for biscuits - no nutritional value and they don't even give you a decent sugar rush unless you eat the whole packet! Cake much better smile

hurricanewyn Mon 29-Apr-13 21:52:49

Evening Olivia.

exoticfruits Mon 29-Apr-13 21:53:05

I hate the idea that you just send money. It is very simple in the supermarket to buy something extra and put it in a box.

topbannana Mon 29-Apr-13 21:53:17

Wow, seems IABU blush
Funnily enough I had considered character spaghetti as a treat but not puddings. As a child we rarely had pudding and it was considered a real treat which I think is why I was surprised to see it on the list.
And I do think food banks are a great idea, given the fact that they are so in demand they clearly fulfill a need (and the fact that there is a need is wrong in a modern society)
Anyway, comments taken on board and judgey pants unhoiked smile

Flobbadobs Mon 29-Apr-13 21:53:20

Jesus Christ TeamEdward I really hope they put her some luxuries in!

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 21:54:07

Hi Olivia. Would you like a not for poor people biscuit ?

Machli Mon 29-Apr-13 21:54:16

I gave two carrier bags full of stuff last time my local food bank were collecting at ASDA. It came to just over £8 and included JAM shock.

My only thought about it was sad that there are people in THIS country who do not have £8 to spend on basic shopping let alone a few "extras" to donate to a food bank. I did not miss that £8 and it provided at least 5 meals and numerous cups of tea. No one should have so little that they cannot find a couple of £ to feed themselves and their children.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Apr-13 21:56:02


Wow, seems IABU blush

Anyway, comments taken on board and judgey pants unhoiked smile

Whoop whoop - delighted to hear this - we love it when there's a turnaround

<off to look for my nearest foodbank>

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 21:56:35

What i find really upsetting, is that in an age of ipads and extravagance, there are people in this country (any country really) that are having to rely on foodbanks - i looked on the website you put up there teamedward and i'm humbed. What stunned me is that they are all over the place - not just impoverished inner cities - its eye opening.

We have been on the bones of our arses - or at least i thought we have, we had to cash in pennies at sainsbury to buy food - i remember, we got £36 in 2ps and felt lucky - it was a cash flow problem to be fair and we could have borrowed from family.

Is this what David Cameron means by the "big society"? hmm

Can I predict that we will now have 10 pages of
"I haven't read the thread but op is vvv u." Even though op has eaten luxury humble pie.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Apr-13 21:57:58

I suspect collecting money to give people to spend themselves is not likely to be very successful given people like the OP are begrudging a tin of rice pudding. I mean who knows what they might spend it on. They might even spend it on cake.

This brilliant blog has opened my eyes to just one real life situation of poverty.

"Poverty is the sinking feeling when your small boy finishes his one weetabix and says ‘more mummy, bread and jam please mummy’ as you’re wondering whether to take the TV or the guitar to the pawn shop first, and how to tell him that there is no bread or jam."

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 29-Apr-13 21:58:02

YANBU to buy what you want to donate. I hope that the spirited response you've had doesn't put you off.

Cheap high calorie stuff like biscuits will unfortunately make up for calories missing elsewhere.

andubelievedthat Mon 29-Apr-13 21:58:23

They will ,the foodbanks,accept Waitrose fresh that day produce ,thou 2 probs with that >one is it doesn"t last long and b> the "underclass" who so obviously (in your world) have to rely on said free food ,would turn their nose up at such healthy fare ,i do hear thou that one of the lesser supermarkets do a nice line in hair shirts and flagellation whips , maybe u could pick up a couple to donate? that would teach them ! sugar and pudding indeed !

ariane5 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:58:33


A couple of months ago things were so bad for us I had to find out where the nearest foodbank was but it was quite far and I don't drive and couldn't get there.
Luckily for us a wonderful mumsnetter sent us an online shop of some basics and also a few little treats-crumpets for the dcs and a box of chocolates. Those treats meant so so much and the crumpets were a lovely 'treaty' breakfast for dcs.

Now that things are a bit better for us I have donated twice to the local foodbank. I think things like custard/rice pudding/biscuits are just as important as pasta/soup/toilet paper etc.

I won't forget how desperate I was and how the dcs eyes lit up when that shop was delivered, they had had a rubbish couple of weeks eating whatever we had left in freezer etc and they were so excited and happy after having something nice to eat.

There is another foodbank opening in June even closer to where we live and I am without fail going to (finances permitting) donate as much as I can every couple of months as I know what a huge difference it can make. I cannot understand how anybody could begrudge someone desperate enough to use a foodbank some 'treats'.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 21:58:58

I think staples should be the, well, staples of food banks so if i were to donate i would buy those first but would like to include a little luxury for soemone too. I honestly feel quite choked sad

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 29-Apr-13 21:59:00

I could weep at this. The judginess, the total failure to recognise that any of us could be in the position of relying on food-banks. Better not to donate than to assume that you know best about what people 'need'. When in fact you haven't got a clue. Christ, sometimes I hate charity - it's so demeaning.

ClayDavis Mon 29-Apr-13 21:59:01

Oops, sorry OP. Crossed posts.

sweetestcup Mon 29-Apr-13 22:00:28

Anyway, comments taken on board and judgey pants unhoiked

It both angers and saddens me that there can possibly be people that think like you do originally, and that your reaction to donating sugar and biscuits etc to a food bank was so horrible.

elQuintoConyo Mon 29-Apr-13 22:01:38

Here's my very first biscuit

...don't go giving it to the poor!

Ledkr Mon 29-Apr-13 22:02:37

Let's all take heed and each but some treats for our local food banks this week. The power of mn.

Flobbadobs Mon 29-Apr-13 22:02:46

Lemisdisappointed we've been there too, cashing in the change bottle for the weekly shop and being pleased it got into double figures..
It's turned me into a bit of a hoarder foodwise now, when the cupboards start to look empty I get fidgety even though I know we have plenty of staples in.
OP that was the most gracious IABU I have ever read on here, now go buy a packet of biscuits tomorrow! grin

BruthasTortoise Mon 29-Apr-13 22:05:10

Does anyone know if you can self refer to a foodbank normally? My local foodbank seems to only accept referals from GPs, the benefits office or social services. I suppose the thinking behind it is so that people who aren't can't use it to just get free groceries but it still seems to leave a gap for people in need who aren't on the radar for any of the authorities and maybe arent keen to be iyswim?

TheCrackFox Mon 29-Apr-13 22:05:18

You can buy two tins of rice pudding for a pound at Poundland. It is hardly on par with a slap up meal at The Ivy.

SisterMonicaJoan Mon 29-Apr-13 22:05:26

My DSis works for a CAB branch who run a foodbank and she has to refer / interview people before giving them a voucher.

Her heart breaks at the situation some people, usually families, find themselves, usually through no fault of their own.

I now regularly donate to the CAB foodbank and ALWAYS make sure that along with essentials, UHT milk, soup, pasta, sauces etc. I also include cereals, tea bags / coffee (my day would be crap without a cup of tea), biscuits, puddings and even some packs of sweets or chocolates for children.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to swallow your pride and ask for help to feed yourself and your family. I know if it were me and there was some chocolate / biscuits or sweets included in the parcel it would mean so much to know that someone out there, a stranger, thought that I deserved something nice and seemingly "non-essential".

It is a disgrace that our supposedly civilised society forces the vulnerable to rely on foodbanks and I am sickened that some people begrudge someone a small "treat" that most of us take for granted.

Hold your head in shame OP

Actually, thank you op, you have inspired me to go and buy biscuits, rice pudding, chocolate and other treaty bits tomorrow and give them to the foodbank here.

We are all one unfortunate circumstance away from having to use a foodbank sadly, but well done for realising YABU.

charlieandlola Mon 29-Apr-13 22:08:57

Are you Gideon, OP? Your message was very Marie Antionette -ish.

chocolatespiders Mon 29-Apr-13 22:09:44

I did a collection for Easter and loved putting some eggs and chocolate lollies on for the families smile

ALittleStranger Mon 29-Apr-13 22:10:08

YABU. I can't even be arsed to explain why, you've depressed me too much OP.

EeyoreIsh Mon 29-Apr-13 22:10:23

Well done op on admitting you were wrong!

DH and I quite enjoy choosing a nice 'treat' to put in the foodbank box. But we usually get something dull like pasta or rice too.

What really shocked me was learning that some people can't just not afford to buy the food, they can't afford or don't have the facility to cook the food. So quick to cook/warm through food is useful to donate.

It's an awful world we live in that there's so much inequality.

chocolatespiders Mon 29-Apr-13 22:10:53

You can buy 2 tins of rice pudding for 24p in Asda smile

ALittleStranger Mon 29-Apr-13 22:13:03

Cross-posted, glad you've converted OP.

And Bruthas, no you can't normally self refer.

BriansBrain Mon 29-Apr-13 22:13:52

Glad to see you have unhooked your judgy pants smile

FairyPenguin Mon 29-Apr-13 22:15:39

I'm glad this thread has raised so much awareness. I have just looked up my local food bank and donated online (as I can't get there during its opening hours as same times that I work).

Thanks for the link. I shall deliver a whoppng bag of chocolate to ours as christ on a bike I would hate to get to the point where I have to use one.
But if I did, I'd certainly need some chocolate.

Lilypad34 Mon 29-Apr-13 22:17:18

Who cares if YABU or not, it's a kind gesture to donate to your local food bank and whatever you donate will help someone/family who need it.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 22:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miffybun73 Mon 29-Apr-13 22:20:12

YABVVU, hopefully you're joking just to wind people up.

Delayingtactic Mon 29-Apr-13 22:21:46

Whatever else this thread has made me look up my local food bank. So not all bad.

Snazzynewyear Mon 29-Apr-13 22:25:35

I've got three Easter eggs of DS's that he has completely forgotten about - I can give those to my local food bank, right? They are still within date obv. I figure kids in general will be pleased to get chocolate; hope it isn't frowned upon that donations are clearly food of your own that's unwanted.

sweetkitty Mon 29-Apr-13 22:28:49

I donate tins of tuna, the usual pasta and rice.

This week I donated sanitary towels and baby wipes, if you cannot afford food, sanitary protection must be low down your list.

I remember the story my nursery friend tell that when she worked in a nursery in a very deprived areas some babies were sent there with carrier bags tied round them instead of nappies and with bottles crusted round the rims and watered down formula hmm

Jinsei Mon 29-Apr-13 22:28:59

TSC, that makes me want to cry. It's so wrong. So very, very wrong. As someone said earlier on the thread, we should be bitterly ashamed that people are going hungry in this day and age.

Corygal Mon 29-Apr-13 22:31:53

I've taken to helping out the local church, ie the Salvation Army up the road. Trumpets out for them - they are superb.

The Sally Army are very, very good at not being hyper-Christian and do special halal food parcels, vegetarian packs, and so on.

On the quiet, they also dish out clothes as well as children's necessities eg clothes, nappies, pushchairs and moses baskets wh, while donated, are always checked by professionals and in fine nick. You don't need a voucher - that is seen as demeaning - gifts are based on people asking for them.

I live in a banking area - which in London 2013 means you are very rich or very, very poor - the donations can be quite splendid, which I suppose is some (teeny) consolation for what England is now.

TeamEdward Mon 29-Apr-13 22:33:21

Well done TSC.

LittleEsme Mon 29-Apr-13 22:35:02

TheSecondComing sad
God - I've not thought of that before. How can I find out about something like that in my area?


ArtemisKelda Mon 29-Apr-13 22:35:45

Thank you to everyone who donates to your local foodbank. I've just started volunteering in ours and the stories that I've heard from the organisers are truly heartbreaking. There are more and more referrals every week sad

It's a disgrace that in this day & age people in the UK are starving which is why I'm doing what I can to help. A lot of families don't have proper cooking facilities & things like rice pudding, custard or biscuits can be easily served. How can a 20p tin of rice pudding be classed as a luxury? At Easter, food parcels for families with children also contained Easter eggs. A local bakery donates cakes as well as bread. OP, do you think that families shouldn't receive these cakes either?

OP, please count your blessings. How many of us are only a few paycheques away from needing the services of a foodbank.

flowers to everyone that donates. Your kindness is unfortunately necessary and much appreciated.

Good on you, TSC.

And yes, that's shit. sad

Another one saying Good on ya TSC and it sucks that you have to do it.

ThePathanKhansAmnesiac Mon 29-Apr-13 22:37:27

So very glad topbananna had a change of heart.
But how very depressing anyone would think like this in the first place.
Have these times we're living in brought the worst out in some of us,<yes OP, I mean you> or have we always been so uncompassionate?sad.

AuntieMaggie Mon 29-Apr-13 22:37:42

Ditto what everyone else is saying TSC sad

I have just found out there is a foodbank on my doorstep so thank you - I will get donating!

suchashame Mon 29-Apr-13 22:40:33

The Red Cross also runs some food banks........... the students where I work volunteer at one in our town every week.

I donated loads stuff when clearing my mothers house a few weeks ago to her local town........ included cleaning stuff, feminine hygiene bits etc as well as food.

a lot of the furniture /curtains/ bedding / kitchen stuff went to the furniture project that makes up "starter kits" for people that can't afford even the basics from charity shops to turn a flat into a home

as others said ........ so sad its still like this these days...... I remember so well having only newspaper on bare floorboards of my bedroom as a kid and sometimes only bread / jam to eat as a main meal in school holidays ( 50 years ago) .... pity we as a society have not moved on so much really.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 22:43:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stleger Mon 29-Apr-13 22:43:24

It is also possible that foodbank clients will include elderly people who may have swallowing problems or just won't put their dentures in/have few teeth.

ArtemisKelda Mon 29-Apr-13 22:44:20

Xposted OP. Thank you for taking everyone's comments on board.

Our foodbank is not part of the Trussell trust, it's independent, not sure how many others are independent though.

Donating money helps too as it means that fresh fruit & veg can be included in the food parcels. We do have a local green grocer that donates as well which helps.

We donate to our local FoodBank via our Church and also collections at our local supermarket. Recently ours was highlighting things like coffee. I thought, stuff it, and bought a really nice jar. DH loves his coffee and if we needed the FoodBank he'd be back on the instant and a nice jar would really make all the difference.

Well done on having a chance of heart and I'm really chuffed to see so many people checking out the FoodBank website or finding some other local way to help people. MN really can change things if we all stand together. Imagine if we all bought just one item for a FoodBank or similar this week, that would be thousands of items grin

seesensepeople Mon 29-Apr-13 22:49:24

I run our local foodbank (not one of the ones where you need to get a voucher, I think that's demeaning).
Sugar is a recognised basic, staple food and is therefore not subject to VAT, like bread.

Rice pudding and custard have some wonderful qualities - ythey are high calorie which is essential if you are not properly nourished; they have calcium which is important for children and new mums; and most important of all they can be eaten cold when you have no money for the gas/electric to warm them up.

Biscuits are a luxury but surely everyone deserves a treat?

Nobody is obliged to buy any items for a foodbank and if a particular item is not to your liking just don't donate that item.

Let them eat cake!

ArtemisKelda Mon 29-Apr-13 22:52:41

TSC, that's shocking. It's the 21st century, this type of thing really shouldn't be happening. Good on you for doing this.

Do you have a justgiving page at all?

LineRunner Mon 29-Apr-13 22:57:36

A packet of digestives is very versatile. They can be eaten with cheese (and a slice of apple), or crushed up to make a pudding, or just eaten as a biscuit with a cup of tea. I remember as a child being given a digestive or a Tuc biscuit with margarine spread on top as a supper.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:00:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineRunner Mon 29-Apr-13 23:01:48

What do you need, TSC?

seesensepeople Mon 29-Apr-13 23:04:23

TSC, we do a hot lunch if you want any tips/practical advice?

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:11:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 23:15:51

Is there anything on line to link to local food banks? Anyone?

SuperFurrySlippers Mon 29-Apr-13 23:19:40

TSC, whereabouts are you? Would be happy to help out if you're near me (south west)

Jojobump1986 Mon 29-Apr-13 23:21:47

Not sure if this has already been mentioned but as well as the listed items, foodbanks give out toiletries/nappies/baby food & are always in need of food for certain dietary requirements like gluten-free stuff.

You can find your local Trussell Trust run foodbank here but there are other organisations who do similar things.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:21:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 23:24:21

hmm it says no results for my area.
Do I need to start one? Or are the people camping under the petrol station that is about to be demolished actually fine?

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 23:25:01

Sorry I meant that in an 'is my area supposedly not in need of one' sarcastic kind of way.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:26:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArtemisKelda Mon 29-Apr-13 23:31:54

TSC, I'm in the NW too, let me know if there's anything I can help with or donate.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:32:10

well done TSC

i run a project with a guise of 'healthy eating' becuase that's what you can get funding for

the kids do learn to cook healthy meals which they eat

the real benefit of the project is that we know the kids will get something to eat

as TSC says...
in 2013
it's disgusting

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 29-Apr-13 23:33:37


Contact your local Waitrose the highest person you can but in store not head office.

They have a good record for local child related food projects I did one a few years ago and they doubled the money I had for food and donated plates ect as well as loads of additional treats

They were great.

Tortington Mon 29-Apr-13 23:35:41

also, M&S give food, you have to be persistant and they pull funny faces

if you have a large local housing association - they might jump all over it with funding

JsOtherHalf Mon 29-Apr-13 23:36:48

Check on your council website for local food banks. Here it is run by a church mission.

Crisis loans and community care grants have now gone, and it is next to impossible to get an advance on your benefits.

More people will need foodbanks...

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Apr-13 23:37:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dogsandcats Mon 29-Apr-13 23:52:16

When life is awful, small treats can be essential to help with good mental health. I read an article a few months ago written by someone who lives in a country where they had rampant inflation, and he said that his wife still had her hair done every so often, even if it meant going without some essentials, because the effect of having her hair done, and looking the best she could, gave them both a lift.

nightowlmostly Tue 30-Apr-13 00:00:14

I've just started donating to our local food bank, I plan to do so every month. I'd like to volunteer but its awkward at the moment with work, maybe in the future. I think I might have heard about them on here tbh, so well done MN!

It's so sad that its necessary in this day and age. We're doing ok so I wanted to give something back, I feel really sad that there are people struggling to feed their kids.

nightowlmostly Tue 30-Apr-13 00:00:46

And I happily donate biscuits!

Caladria Tue 30-Apr-13 00:12:29

I read somewhere that when you're sending supplies to disaster areas the first things you send are the obvious ones - e.g. blankets, rice, medicine - but right next on the list are 'luxuries' like lipstick and teddy bears. Stuff that helps you feel human when your life is shit. Same principle here I guess.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Tue 30-Apr-13 01:32:10

Good on you TSC-am NW and also vair gobby if can be of any help with your project wink

ExRatty Tue 30-Apr-13 01:39:44

Glad OP came back

Devastated that we need to have food banks in the UK
Utterly devastated

I feel worse that some of us might ever think that we should be anything other than incredibly kind and non judgemental to any requests for food and toward those needing to use the service

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 01:42:18

People can probably survive for years just on lentils and toe scrapings, so why bother getting them anything else.

Also they are not a 'brilliant idea'. A compassionate and sufficient welfare state. That's a brilliant idea. That foodbanks exist as a formal part of the benefits system rather than a last resort when the system has fucked up by accident is a fucking disgrace.

MidniteScribbler Tue 30-Apr-13 02:07:39

Whenever I do a costco run, I always buy a few boxes of something in bulk to donate. Last time I managed to pick up 24 packets of cake mix for a good price, and it only required milk added (which all the people at our food bank get when they get their parcels). I was a bit unsure about it, but a week later, the coordinator came over to see me and asked if I wouldn't mind buying them again if I could instead of buying staples, because everyone was so thrilled to get a treat like that for their kids and they get a lot of staples donated, but not much treat food.

smeeeheee Tue 30-Apr-13 04:36:13

FFS!! Are you actually from Restoration England??? Sugar isn't a luxury, and hasn't been since the 17th century!!! Just throw the paupers some hardtack and swill if it offends you so much to donate something that hasn't been thought of as a luxury item in this country for 300 years. Christ on a bike, what a snob!!!!! Am so outraged I can't control my use of exclamation marks!!!!!!!

EmmaBemma Tue 30-Apr-13 05:28:57

It's nothing to do with things being "treats". Custard, rice pudding, biscuits etc are energy dense foods that provide much needed calories when people haven't had a lot to eat.

ohforfoxsake Tue 30-Apr-13 05:51:32

TSC - I'll get involved.

LittleEsme Tue 30-Apr-13 05:58:30

TSC I'm in Swansea but I'll donate.

Pancakeflipper Tue 30-Apr-13 06:58:11

Smeehee - be fair, TopBanana has had a rethink and I reckon her nearest food bank will be benefitting from tasty treats.

I've never thought about getting biscuits, sugar or tea when I've bought stuff before for the local food bank, although I have bought custard and jelly; thanks for the tip! Glad you changed your mind OP.

*obviously agree that it's an absolute disgrace that we need food banks. In the UK. In 2013. angry

Littlehousesomewhere Tue 30-Apr-13 07:33:49

I read that list of food as cheap staples that will last well.

I don't think it is our business to make a judgement on healthy/unhealthy food when it comes to food banks.

Donate whatever you like!

Dawndonna Tue 30-Apr-13 07:39:36

Well done OP. It takes courage to come back and say publicly, I was perhaps a little misguided!

Well done OP. You came back and held your hands up. I feel bad that people are coming on to the thread and slating you but thats MN for you. Also I think some are forgetting that you are actually donating in the first place and thats a good thing obviously. Thanks for raising awareness though. It looks like a lot of foodbanks are about to get even more nice things to perk those that have to use them up. smile

GibberTheMonkey Tue 30-Apr-13 08:48:45

Tsc mentioned sanitary protection
Would they like moon cups do you think? Ok they cost a bit more but no more costs.

bubblesinthesky Tue 30-Apr-13 09:10:32

OP glad to see you changed your mind. When I started reading this thread I thought you must be the lady with the can of kidney beans who told me off for putting a pack of penguins in the foodbank trolly. It must have been someone else.

By the way after seeing the contributions on that thread I put in 4 cans of tuna and a packet of kit kats last time as a lot of people said the foodbanks were short on tinned meat and fish

CabbageLooking Tue 30-Apr-13 09:12:11

Topbannana - really pleased that you read and listened and then had a rethink. And you have inspired me to make sure that I pop something in the Foodbank box at the supermarket later on today.

DeWe Tue 30-Apr-13 09:56:58

A local charity asks people to make up food packages that they deliver to vunerable people (eg. single mother just after having her baby). They give a list of suggested things, but at the bottom it requests in bold "Please put 1-3 items you would consider luxury." It does give suggestions of what they would consider that.

What their logic is, that if you treat someone as "Tesco's economy" that's how they see themselves, and that's how they will continue to feel. The luxury item is saying "we think you're important and deserve a treat, rather than here is just enough to live on."

WandOfElderNeverProsper Tue 30-Apr-13 12:42:42

TSC not promoting or anything - but try contacting your local ASDA (or I think waitrose might do a similar scheme) and ask for their "Community Life Champion" - its their community charity colleague who can organise stuff like a donation, and often they can arrange for colleagues time to help you - paid for by ASDA. Recently my CLC and manager plus couple of other colleagues went and helped with renovating a community centre - stuff like that. They could help you with the cooking/serving up, setting up, can get leaflets out and about to the schools etc so the parents know where to go? Thought it might be a good way of getting free help, sorry if I'm imposing.

TSC we do a similar sort of thing at the youth centre in my area.

Sadly there's no funding-apparently it's not needed.

But contact all the major supermarkets, they help us out a lot.

It makes me so sad that there are children who do not get a meal if they aren't at school. We get a lot of families there, so it's clearly not just the children who aren't eating.

But honestly, contact everyone you can think of-sometimes you have to pester them a bit for an answer but they can be very very useful.

I hope it goes well.

It is so wonderful to know there are people like you, and all the people who donate to food banks etc that give up their time to do this.

5Foot5 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:02:23

Also they are not a 'brilliant idea'. A compassionate and sufficient welfare state. That's a brilliant idea. That foodbanks exist as a formal part of the benefits system rather than a last resort when the system has fucked up by accident is a fucking disgrace.

But as far as I am aware the food banks are not a formal part of the benefits system. Our local one is run on by volunteers and organised by local churches I think. Of course it is shocking that there are people so let down by the system that they need this extra help. But while there is a need for them would you rather they weren't there? It is not "brilliant" that they are needed at all, but while the need exists it is "brilliant" that people will take the time and trouble to respond to this need.

I give to our local foodbank every week and at Christmas they were specifically asking if people could give a little extra "treat" such as a Christmas pudding, mince pies or a box of crackers or something. I think onlymthe hardest hearted could take exception to that.

TheSlug Tue 30-Apr-13 13:06:55

One of the Tressell foodbanks recently provided a food box for a mum who had eaten nothing for 4 days, except for dog biscuits, because she fed her children the only food in the house.

This made me cry sad

Tortington Tue 30-Apr-13 13:09:47

and then did you see the thread about how people begrudge donating treats like 'custard creams' and 'rice pudding'

this skiver spin has GOT TO STOP

Britain 2013 should not look like this

madamimadam Tue 30-Apr-13 13:14:55

I'm another MNer who is bitterly ashamed that we have the need for food banks in this country.

TSC, I'm not in your area but would willingly donate to your project. Or to any of the other incredible MNers who are doing similar work here.

Thanks too for the link to help us find our local food bank. I'll be donating from now on.

And I'll be asking any local canvassers that come knocking over the next couple of days what they'll be doing to help too...

JsOtherHalf Tue 30-Apr-13 13:17:06

Our foodbank is now a formal part of the benefits system in this area. The reduced amount of money given to the local authority in place of dwp crisis loans/community care grants has now been used to fund vouchers for the foodbank.

Vickibee Tue 30-Apr-13 13:20:11

I agree that is is a disgrace in the 4th richest country in the world that people can't afford to feed their families. Shame on the government for not tackling this

issimma Tue 30-Apr-13 13:20:32

I've just volunteered to start helping at our local one (run by church - referrals from HVs, CAB, GPs, schools), and in the meantime will be donating lots of tins of rice pudding and nice coffee.
Disgusted that we need them.
Shocked that people think parcels should consist of a bag of gruel and a weary cabbage.

TheSlug Tue 30-Apr-13 13:21:44

*Do you know what I am doing this summer OP?
I've got some funding to feed the kids (via a field kitchen and some army tents) who will be starving over the summer holiday as they wont get a free school dinner?
In 2013.
In England.
It's disgusting.*

Awful!! really shouldn't read this thread as I'm very hormonal today! Although I have just donated online to my local foodbank, and printed out the shopping list to take with me on my weekly shop. 26% of children in my town are living in poverty sad

Yabu. Can you really not imagine the delight on the children's faces at being able to have something normal like banana custard. Doesn't seem much to us but by god will it be appreciated by kids who have nothing and who probable need a hot pudding given mummy and daddy may not be able to currently afford to heat the house.

These kids will enjoy the treat.

madamimadam Tue 30-Apr-13 13:27:48

Jesus, TheSlug, I missed your first point. Fucking hell.

You're right, Custardo. Britain in 2013 shouldn't look like this. I hope any of us who get approached by anyone canvassing for Thursday's elections will highlight food banks and child poverty as an issue.

MNHQ, is there any way we could get an MN campaign going about this? I can't as a mother sit here knowing what other families are going through without doing everything I can to change this dreadful situation.

I know you've probably got your hands full with the great campaign on childcare ratios but this thread has upset me more than any MN thread for a long time.

pizzaqueen Tue 30-Apr-13 13:29:41

Not read the whole thread but it has made we want to donate to food banks and the first things i will donate is a big tin of biscuits! Everyone (especially these families) deserve a little treat.

We have been cutting back our supermarket budget for weeks now as everything is just getting too expensive (£70 a week including nappies), but this is a luxuary budget compared to the sacrifices some families are making, mostly through no fault of their own. Heartbreaking.

SoftSheen Tue 30-Apr-13 13:31:18

YAB extremely U.

People who use food banks are likely to be both deficient in calories and unable to afford to heat their homes. Foods like custard, tinned rice pudding and biscuits are ideal because they are calorific and warming, and require little cooking (which uses electricity).

Whenever I make a food bank donation I always include some biscuits or chocolate- it will be very likely the only 'treat' the recipient gets that week. Also remember that many users of food banks are families with children, who will certainly appreciate a few sweet things.

LucilleBluth Tue 30-Apr-13 13:32:12

It is upsetting to think of kids going hungry, especially when my own three have access to so much and turn their noses up at things, a punnet of Strawberries or blueberries are demolished without a thought in this house.

I have googled my local food bank and will be donating tomorrow......it's actually next door to my dentist, I had no idea.

Squitten Tue 30-Apr-13 13:32:20

We have a food bank here that is getting more and more heavily used. They are regularly outside our supermarket asking people to donate.

At Easter time our kids got a ridiculous amount of eggs - large family who are obsessed with giving them sweets and go nuts at Easter! We donated about a dozen to the food banks and I hope that some kids who otherwise would not have had one might have received them.

Weegiemum Tue 30-Apr-13 13:33:16

TSC if you don't mind I'm planning to pinch your idea to pitch locally (I work in literacy for young mums in a Glasgow housing scheme where 60% are on FSM).

No idea how I could manage it but, hey, it's 8 weeks till the summer holidays here, and I know church groups would volunteer.

Many thanks for he idea!

Plus, pasta is filling yes but sugar and calories are important to and custard would deliver some much needed calcium fat and calories!

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Apr-13 13:34:33

I can't afford to donate to a food bank just now blush so in light of this thread i have just sent an email to enquire about volunteering at our local food bank. AGAIN, im sat here with tears in my eyes, I live in a affluent area with more boden than you shake a stick at, and STILL there are people that cannot feed themselves and their children, its shameful sad

Thankyou OP for this thread, ive not been feeling very good recently and have been thinking about doing some volunteer work, this thread has given me inspiration - it will do ME good. Oh and it is good that you have seen the error of your ways.

I have thought about this thread alot and of COURSE folk should have luxuries but if i do think that the bulk of one's donations should be staples because whilst a tin of peaches and cream is lovely, it would be pants if foodbanks could only offer sweets etc. But yes, people need nice things as well as pasta and chick peas.

CMOTDibbler Tue 30-Apr-13 13:35:13

Good on the OP for coming back with a changed POV.

And I've donated to a local food bank too

PearlyWhites Tue 30-Apr-13 13:40:03

Wow op you really are quite unkind.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:44:24

I think cheap, sweet things like custard and biscuits are a good idea as they will contain a lot of calories per penny and actually, you know FILL PEOPLE UP and stop them from being HUNGRY.

Crinkle77 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:46:02

Surely they deserve a treat every now and then?

madamimadam Tue 30-Apr-13 13:48:48

Pearly' the OP has had the grace to change her mind. (Possibly a first for AIBU...)

Credit to her for doing it - and inadvertently highlighting what everyday poverty means in this country. In 2013. What sort of society have we become sad?

Scholes34 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:49:10

You can't make a decent tomato sauce for pasta with your Basics tinned tomatoes without some sugar.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Apr-13 13:51:28

Last time I went on Netmums there was a thread with the title 'Asking for food donations at the tills. I mean I don't mind contributing to animal shelters but this annoys me????!!'

Or something similar.


The OP's original opinion reminds me of when I got someone screeching at me on MN for having sugar in the house. It was apparently ridiculous and totally my fault that my (autistic) son had food obsessions.

You have to laugh...

catsmother Tue 30-Apr-13 14:03:41

I've seen the OP's backtracked - fair dos on her coming back and doing so - but also recall a similar attitude from someone else in another recent thread about foodbanks. Basically - the "shock horror" aspect that anyone in desperate need should be "treated" in any way at all. The worst thing is that there are probably many more people out there who also think like this - and haven't posted on Mumsnet to have the error of their ways well and truly pointed out to them!

Quite apart from the many reasons already listed as to why people in need shouldn't be excluded from so-called "treats", what amazes me is that food banks don't just post up any old random list of "stuff" off the top of their heads - what they ask for has been thought through and has been listed because it is needed. I've said it before but food isn't just for the body, it's also for the soul. Whatever - why quibble about what experienced workers in the field have decided would make good useful donations ?

NC78 Tue 30-Apr-13 14:04:14

This thread has tempted me to add a bottle of wine the next time I donate to my local food bank.

Weegiemum Tue 30-Apr-13 14:04:23

You were on <whisper> net mums, MrsDV?

No biscuit for you, then!

topbannana Tue 30-Apr-13 14:19:49

So here I am back again hmm
For all those who are still harping on about what a mean spirited bitch I am, please take the time to read ALL the thread. And as a PP said (and I thank her for a lone voice of kindness amongst the storm) any donation is good. My original post stems really from a lack of knowledge as I was unaware there even were food banks around my way or indeed that most were not self-referring. And in no way did I suggest that "these people" should survive on, as another PP so eloquently puts it "a bag of gruel and a weary cabbage"
So DS and I are off later to buy some bits for the collection on Sunday (including biscuits- shock horror wink)
And for any of you lovely people involved in any such venture, a little explanation would help judgey folk like me get over their prejudices and understand what you are trying to do (one local bank is appealing for dishwasher tablets, I assume for a machine in the kitchen where they cook for the homeless. This is not mentioned so I COULD be left wondering why people in need of a food box also need dishwasher tablets IYSWIM) smile

ArtemisKelda Tue 30-Apr-13 14:20:32

TSC, someone upthread mentioned Asda community life. A lot of Tesco stores also have a community champion, might be worth checking at your local Tesco.

One of our local scout groups has offered to pack bags to raise funds for the foodbank, your local scouts may be interested in helping your plan.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Apr-13 14:23:36

I was weegie, till they banned me shock

shock you got Banned Mrs DV but I've never seen you say anything remotely ban-worthy

dotnet Tue 30-Apr-13 14:25:47

I'm afraid I think YABU, as well. In my book biscuits, sugar and custard are all normal foods everyone has in their cupboard (biscuits not all the time - they get eaten too quickly!- but surely everybody buys a packet of biscuits, or two, at least once a week.)
As for the rice pudding - if I had to go to a foodbank (thank God I've never been in that situation) I'd forego the rice pudding. It's disgusting! But I gather it's 'good' food all the same, and for the poor misguided souls who like the stuff - it's a comfort food.

LineRunner Tue 30-Apr-13 14:32:52

OP This is a good thread and well done for a really good discussion.

LineRunner Tue 30-Apr-13 14:33:27

OP has changed her view. She is biscuit-crazy now. grin

Alwayscheerful Tue 30-Apr-13 14:34:09

OP, I only read the first dozen posts but feel you are being treated too harshly. I would very interested to hear a dietician's opinion, we are led to believe that sugars and palm oils are poison to our body, some wpuld say they encourage obesity particularly in the poor. In an ideal situation we should be distributing fresh fruit & vegetables and other healthy treats, for obvious reasons this is not practical, for this reason I support your question.

topbannana Tue 30-Apr-13 14:42:49

biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit

TSC maybe contact your local Guides as they are experienced in cooking cheap, filling food outdoors in tents.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 30-Apr-13 14:49:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

curryeater Tue 30-Apr-13 14:50:52

I am at a very low ebb today and this thread is making me sob


TSC I am in the north west. Please link to your new thread when you start it.

coldwater Tue 30-Apr-13 15:00:47

I could cry reading this.

These families are going through hell, probably don't have the means to take their children on days out, throw parties for them at birthdays etc.. So to have a packet of biscuits given to them from a food bank would probably make their day and to think some people begrudge them having that. sad

Just be thankful you aren't one of these families that have to rely on a food bank.

olgaga Tue 30-Apr-13 15:01:26

It's also the fact that these are items with long use-by dates.

I'm a bit bemused that you think things like custard, rice pudding, biscuits and sugar are "luxury items".

YABU. For a family with young children they are basic necessities.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Apr-13 15:01:30

I wonder if we should get this thread deleted and open another thread about food banks because the OP has realised she was wrong and at least she is donating - this thread has been brilliant to raise awareness, I am gobsmacked that the foodbanks are everywhere. I just think its now not productive to be having trigger responses when we could move it to something usefull?

After an earlier thread on food banks I now put in some cuppa soup / mugshot/instant noodle type of meals and some instant porridge that just needs boiling water. It was pointed out that some people might not have enough money to pay the gas bill so won't be able to cook much.

I usually put in peanut butter as well as that his high in energy and a source of protein but is a bit of a treat item too.

I did stick a couple of bars of chocolate in too along with the more sensible stuff.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Apr-13 15:12:09

Theres a new thread already?? ooh, linky please

I was talking about a thread a week or two ago.

UniS Tue 30-Apr-13 15:26:55

lass I knew had gone through a rough patch and had been reliant on food bank ( and soup kitchen) supplies, her major gripe was " what the hell was I gonna do with dry pasta , I didn't have a pan, a stove or a roof over my head" . I try and remember that some ( tho not all) of the people using a food bank may in as precarious a position as her.

Cans with ring pulls, food you CAN eat direct from packet, long shelf date as the demand for bank food will fluctuate.

olgaga Tue 30-Apr-13 15:29:06

Maybe MNHQ could do a "guest blogger" or webchat feature about foodbanks?

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 15:30:36

there was a thread the other week about this a jugey woman had judged a mumsnetter for putting some treats in a donation box while she was putting in mixed beans and lentils mmmmmm mixed beans hmm OP yabu that woman do poor people not deserve a treat Imagine openng a box of food and all you have is pasta and lentils how demoralising . food banks provide families children like a treat now and again

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 15:31:02

you are that woman*

Wilding Tue 30-Apr-13 15:36:47

Thanks for those links - I've just found out that 72% of the people in my borough are deprived, and that 52% of children live below the poverty line shock

This is the same borough that is the largest employer of bankers in Europe.

LineRunner Tue 30-Apr-13 15:36:55

If I was unable to afford fuel I would really appreciate food that could be eaten cold, such as tins of ham and tuna, squeezy tubes of cheese, crackers, tins of sweetcorn.

If I had a kettle I would really appreciate quick noodles, pot noodles, instant soups, instant hot chocolate drinks and 'smash' potato.

Lots of things in tins are ok cold. I like cold beans, green beans, spinach and beans & sausages. And sardines.

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 15:37:41

the tone of the OP is really snooty oh these food bank are a marvellous idea lets all help the poor out oh no not a bit of sugar I need to work and buy my own sugar, it is a disgusting attitude to have,

infamouspoo Tue 30-Apr-13 15:38:47

you are bloody awesome TSC.

The OP has accepted that she was being unreasonable.

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 15:46:57

she stil linitially thought it though good that yes she has seen she was in the wrong but her atitude to poor people isn't rare

elfycat Tue 30-Apr-13 16:15:33

Well done OP for starting another thought-provoking thread.

I read the thread a few weeks ago, and while I had donated food peviously, that thread encouraged me to do it again and add penguins treats.

This thread is making me feel I could do more. TSC you are a big part of that. And the post about the woman eating dog biscuits! I will look into local projects (East Anglia) to help children/families who are struggling today and see what more I can do to help.

And I abhore the need for this in a country I should be proud of.

Well, I for one can see why the OP originally had the attitude she did because I have had to cut back myself and the first things to go were the puddings and sweet junk. My children are not impressed at not getting their biscuits and desserts and would find it very strange that I was donating these very things to a food bank. Having said that I can quite see the logic behind having these items on the list for those that can afford to donate them. I hope that no-one has been put off donating anything that they can afford by the judgmental attitude of some posters. I'd also like to know how many of those judgmental people actually donate themselves and how many were just shouting in principle.
For anyone interested or involved with food banks, Tesco will be having a "food bank" weekend on the 6th and 7th July, so if anyone is interested go and have a word.

fuzzpig Tue 30-Apr-13 16:29:16

In terms of community champion people, for TSC's and similar projects, I'm sure I saw something about NatWest doing a similar thing with trying to get involved in local charity. Obviously they aren't food related but might be willing to help with volunteers to run it, or even money perhaps?

This is a really humbling thread, I like others on here I have been in the position of cashing in the copper jar for food, and remember one memorable lunchtime making a tiny pizza for me and 1yo DD with literally the last 5 items in the kitchen. I have never had to ask for a food bank though, and I actually had no idea they existed in such large numbers until I saw the Penguingate thread linked to above.

Things aren't so dire now although they may well be soon as we've hit a reef financially so to speak. But I hope one day we will be able to donate and we certainly will then.

Wanted to ask though - somebody mentioned value brands making people think that's all they are worth. Would that mean they aren't accepted as donations? Because even when we aren't struggling so much, we still have to mostly stick to value range. I wouldn't want anyone to think we were patronising the poor if we were only able to donate value stuff sad - it would literally be because that would be all we could afford to donate.

mrsjay Tue 30-Apr-13 16:30:49

Oh it was penguins I forgot what it was on that thread,

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Apr-13 16:36:12

freddie for posting in a sarcastic manner. Its not allowed on NM. Apparently. Me! Sarcastic! hmm

Pah, their loss. I am allowed back on now but its not good for my mental health over there so I avoid.

LineRunner Tue 30-Apr-13 17:13:10

fuzzpig that's a good point about value brands.

I bought quite a few for myself today - value beetroot, digestives, sardines, tinned tomatoes - because I know they are fine. I don't mind choosing them and I wouldn't mind being given them.

Don't know how others feel, though.

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Apr-13 17:31:56

I buy them. I would donate them to a foodbank because it would mean I could donate more.

Not everyone who donates to a food bank is well off. I may well need to use one in the future. Not much is standing between me and 'them'.

I think donating value pasta, rice, OJ etc plus some nice cereal, pudding, hot chocolate

is a good compromise surely?

MrsDeVere Tue 30-Apr-13 17:34:01

I have been trying to find one in my area without much luck yet.
There must be one, I live in a deprived city area.

PunkHedgehog Tue 30-Apr-13 17:37:07

TSC The tents in parks idea is inspired - well done! Remember that a lot of large companies - supermarkets and financial/consulting type places in particular - have staff volunteer programmes, which give staff a certain amount of paid time off each month specifically for charity and community work. And ones that can't contribute on-the-ground helpers may still be able to give you some sort of help with funding or fundraising, publicity, equipment etc.

curryeater Tue 30-Apr-13 17:38:14

I give value food to food banks and I hope the recipients don't mind because I don't give anything I wouldn't eat. They are not to know this though.

fuzzpig Tue 30-Apr-13 17:41:50

That's what I'd hope, as surely some value products are better than nothing (and actually there are some value products I'd stick with even if I won the lottery because they are just as good as 'high end' versions!) - I just wouldn't want anyone to think I was only buying value stuff because that's all 'the poor' are worth IYSWIM.

I was really surprised there wasn't a local food bank listed on the trussel site, I had to google and only found one via an old local news article from when it was set up. It is an 'open house' charity that you can donate money to in various ways but you can also give food - interestingly what they said they really needed was tinned fish and meat. So when we can, that will be what we give smile

TwllBach Tue 30-Apr-13 18:15:27

TSC, I'm another one tempted to steal your idea, if you don't mind?

And for those that are quoting statistics, how are you finding them? I have a feeling I'm living in an area of Hugh amounts if FSM (badly phrased) but I'd like to see the percentages IYSWIM?

Latara Tue 30-Apr-13 18:52:04

There is a local Foodbank near me, I donated some items including chocolate of course!

We have used food banks. My husband is the only earner and ostensibly only allowed to work for the university, i cannot legally work here. Because our pay ends when terms end we often have 5 weeks at summer with no income. I wish the food banks here could give us a box of basics... When i have gone to the food bank of Virginia (that you are only allowed to access once a month) i have received 1 package of out of date frozen meat (a 4 pack of burgers... We are a family of 5) a gallon of milk a bottle of juice and then a few totally random items. Like 3 huge boxes of slimy out of date salad, a huge bag of prunes which would have been great except they had moth eggs all over them, a bag of some sort of dried beans. Oh, and an old stale cake that was the highlight of the kids day. And that was all you could access from the state funded food bank for a whole month! It fed us one day. Luckily churches have separate foodbanks and you can usually get some choice enough to make a meal for dinner... I was so excited when they had potatoes as that is one thing we all like and fills us up without needing anything else.

If British foodbanks give food that actually makes basic meals that is wonderful. Luxuries like tea and biscuits would be lovely too, but i bet the basics are what the people appreciate most. I know on those lean weeks we have, knowing where the next meal will come from is a huge relief.

DrCoconut Tue 30-Apr-13 20:16:54

Have not read the whole thread but I have been in desperate enough circumstances to need a food parcel. I had been living off one corn relish sandwich per day to eke out a small loaf and the remains of the relish, bought when we were flush, in relative terms, and to allow my DS to eat a bit better. He got what I could afford first. It was heaven to get a tin of beans and sausages and be able to eat it all at one meal. There was soup for the next day and some cereal bars too. And yes, a tin of rice pudding. When you're that desperate the smallest thing makes a difference. A tin of value fruit or pudding may literally be the difference between someone feeling they can make it or giving up.

seesensepeople Tue 30-Apr-13 20:20:38

With regard to value brand - of course they are perfectly acceptable.

I think what a PP was trying to say was imagine how demoralising it would be to open a bag and find only value brands of absolute baisc.

In foodbanks we know that it is a good idea to mix brands and labels and definitely include treats. Our foodbank tries to theme items - so a tin of chicken curry with a bag of rice, or tinned tuna or tomatoes with a bag of pasta. A lot of thought actually goes into putting together things people can actually eat.

We also cater for special diets, such as gluten free or suitable for diabetics, etc - these items are always in short supply so if you wanted to splash out on a pack of gluten free spaghetti you would be making someone's day!

And to those looking for their local foodbanks - not all are part of Thrussel Trust - ours isn't because they are too prescriptive AND they insist on a voucher scheme which we hate. Just try good old google and look up food banks (in your area)

dementedma Tue 30-Apr-13 20:45:29

We have a collection box in our office for the local food bank and we all just pit things in until its full and then the food bank guys collect it. Get your local businesses involved - it makes it very easy to donate.

phantomnamechanger Tue 30-Apr-13 21:25:18

Well done for being brave enough to accept YABU, OP, hopefully some other readers may be prompted to act too
while it's awful that these food banks are needed, its so heart warming that they are so well supported too
same with Christmas toy appeals - is anyone going to say "they don't need luxuries" then, I hope not!

many of the people using foodbanks thesedays are people who have never had to resort to "charity" but are suddenly in hard times. They have tried to keep their heads above water, they have put everything into clothing the kids, trying to keep warm and paying their rent/mortgage. They have been going without extras and luxuries and treats for so long. They are at rock bottom when they ask for help.

My worry is for those who have not got one they can access easily. Or those to proud to ask.
I cannot imagine what it is like having to choose to buy food or san pro (like the scene in brassed off) and am happy to educate my kids about their good fortune and the need to be generous to others

phantomnamechanger Tue 30-Apr-13 21:31:20

seesense - thanks for saying about GF - my DD is GF - I have often wondered about adding in GF food to our churches food bank box, but wondered whether they would just turn their noses up and say "what has someone given us this for" - it may sit there going out of date! And of course GF food is by and large a lot more expensive than regular so even harder for those struggling to get by - given that our PCT has cut right back on what staples GPs provide even for kids, I imagine it must be very hard for some families to stick to the right foods.

I also hope that lots of food is not wasted in these places due to being short life or surplus to needs etc and I also wish we had more reminders of what to give periodically eg - we have plenty of pasta and rice but need tea and coffee - or we have plenty of tuna but need tinned fruit and veg this month

CandidaDoyle Tue 30-Apr-13 21:43:54

Can I ask those involved in running food banks a quick question? Is it better for you to receive donated food or a cash donation which can be spent as you see fit?

I wondered if you can get gift aid on the cash donations, so that the donation is worth more?

Jojobump1986 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:47:51

Our local foodbank is on facebook & Twitter & often lets people know what they're lacking. It's very useful for DH because he organises a monthly collection at his office & finds more people donate if they're told a specific couple of items rather than just 'something off the list'.

Any out of date or damaged food gets put into a help-yourself box along with the toiletries/nappies etc. for people to take from on top of their standard parcel. The out of date or damaged items are at-your-own-risk on the basis that food can't be given out once it has passed it's date but chances are that most of the items will be absolutely fine. It's all stacked in the warehouse according to date so the shorter dates will get used first to avoid there being any waste.

Jojobump1986 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:53:13

Annie AFAIK, the monetary donations can be gift aided but that is then used for renting storage space, heating, lighting, admin &, in some foodbanks, paying for a manager to oversee everything. At our local one they're trying to raise enough money for a full-time manager but at the moment that job is being done by a couple of volunteers who have rather a lot of other things to do as well! Both money & food are needed for a foodbank to operate successfully.

Misspixietrix Tue 30-Apr-13 21:56:43


My DC's School had a donation to the Foodbank at Christmas, I was quite heartened by the fact a lot of parents bought in higher end stuff, i.e Heinz beans, Oreos biscuits with the mindset that people caught in such hard times could do with a treat. ~

littlepeas Tue 30-Apr-13 22:03:24

I have found this a very teary thread. It has provided me with some much needed perspective.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 30-Apr-13 22:04:21

Good idea to include a variety of food, including some sweet things. Biscuits and puddings are quite cheap so hopefully people can afford to donate these things. I enjoyed choosing chocolate bars last time I donated. I know how much I enjoy chocolate!

vanillamum Tue 30-Apr-13 22:04:43

I have worked for a large foodbank as a volunteer co-ordinator for two years (style and beauty here gave me fab advice for what to wear for the interview). We have seen a massive rise in demand for our service-we now give out over 500 foodbags a week when I started it was around 250-300 and tomorrow is our first day of being open double sessions for our eat in free community cafe.
I applaud OP for her bravery in posting this comment and coming beck with a changed mind. Her post has resulted in so much raised awareness of this issue. Thank you, so much.
BTW around 2mins into this weblink shows our foodbank and the whole video talks a lot about issues facing people using our service.

vanillamum - thanks for that. OMG. Another activist in the making here.

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 23:14:56

I can't find it but I posted up thread about them being a formal part of the system and someone responded to that.

As I said they used to be when something went wrong with the system. It used to be that the benefit office workers job was to assist you in getting the benefits you needed but now they are under pressure to deny people the benefits they are entitled to with sanctions etc.

Where before you might be sent to a foodbank if you'd 'slipped through the net', if there had been a mistake now it's a case of 'we're sanctioning you for x number of weeks or months (or more!) go to the foodbank if you're unable to magic up some money or magic up a job. Here's a voucher'.

This is what I mean by saying it's become a formal part of welfare.


I feel rather ambivalent towards food banks. I deeply resent being guilted into contributing ( to bastarding Big Society) by a govt who refuses to meet its responsibilities to us.

I have however donated to my local one. It was a time consuming process because I decided to use local independent shops in our market area rather than simply make an online order to be delivered to the fb.

I know sometimes food banks will set up outside supermarkets and ask people to buy a bit extra to donate. But supermarkets are a very powerful lobby group in the UK and are (one of the) drivers of the sorts of policies which contribute to making foodbanks necessary. The vols at the fb didn't get my resistance to using the supermarkets at all bless them (and it's not like I don't use them myself sometimes) I can understand why they would set up outside the local tesco and also you can order from supermarkets online and have it delivered to the fb during their opening hours.

I think I might ask some of the local traders if they would be interested in putting up signs for people to buy something to put in an instore container that the shop might be willing to deliver to the fb. I'd like to see something which supports traders who are not mercenary fucks like Tesco. Although I'm sure being a local trader doesn't exclude one from also being a mercenary fuck! grin

Bunson Tue 30-Apr-13 23:17:31


how dare they have sugar! And biscuits and custard! Where's the fucking gruel?


JsOtherHalf Tue 30-Apr-13 23:17:35

In this area the foodbank only accepts donations between 11am and 3pm on weekdays. I suspect this makes it more difficult to donate goods. Even one day a fortnight of opening to 7pm would make it easier.( Or a few hours on a weekend once a month?)

Bunson Tue 30-Apr-13 23:18:54

Oh god I'm a bit late

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 23:28:19

grin at bunson.

As I said JsOtherHalf even though I don't really approve you can order online and arrange a delivery slot that fits in with the fb opening hours.

seesensepeople Tue 30-Apr-13 23:30:07

It is very difficult to maintain a volunteer presence 24/7 to receive donations.

To address this we put "Tin Bins" in various places who are willing to work with us, so the porch of a local church (they were worried about goods being stolen but I just think if someone needs it that much what is the problem, we would give it to them anyway); a couple of pubs, the housing association; district council; the butcher; a couple of cafes; citizens advice; etc - when they are full we go and pick up.

Interestingly we don't have a tin bin in any local supermarkets.

It is actually more difficult to be available when people need to collect. We are in the countryside so we have bought a van and do a once a week delivery service (think of the mobile library). It's expensive though!

MusicalEndorphins Tue 30-Apr-13 23:34:08

This is the most wanted donations for my city's food bank.
canned fruit
breakfast cereals
pancake mix
canned milk
peanut butter
cheese spreads
canned stew
canned fish
tomato sauce
dry soup
canned soup
holiday treats
baking mixes
personal care items
grocery gift certificates

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 23:50:12

I suppose you have to take into consideration that some people won't have access to (proper) cooking facilities?

WafflyVersatile Tue 30-Apr-13 23:50:49

what sort of thing are holiday treats?

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:00:14

I am not sure, I was wondering that myself. Gingerbread House Kits, or some other holiday type of thing? Christmas cookies and candies perhaps? Hot chocolate mix? I know when they give a Christmas hamper they include things like cookie mixes and canned frosting, a fruit cake, pudding cups, as well as items for a Christmas turkey dinner and a few other meals.

WafflyVersatile Wed 01-May-13 00:02:33

ah! or easter eggs etc. fair enough.

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:03:09

Yes, some people don't have basic baking supplies. Sometimes they barely have utensils, or only have a microwave to cook with. I try and put stuff that doesn't need eggs or milk, in case the person doesn't have them. So all in one pancake mix where you just add water, rather than a mix that requires an egg.

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 00:03:11

Holiday treats are things like lunch box snacks, so could be kitkats or similar. This category also includes the (much hated by MN) fruitshoots, packets of crisps, raisins, dried fruits.Custardy type pots (that don't need the fridge) - basically think the kids won't be getting free school meals what can we do to feed them up and provide the snacks they need to keep them going throughout the day.
Bear in mind these kids don't tend towards obese on the BMI scale so healthy here means high calorie.

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:04:44

This thread inspired me, I just e-mailed the local food bank to see what volunteer work an old dame with arthritis can do to help. They have a seniors lunch, maybe I can help prepare and serve!

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 00:05:40

Regards cooking facilities - some have a full range of facilities, others just a microwave or a slow cooker and some have only a kettle and a toaster.

This actually goes right back to the original post - what can you cook in a pan/microwave/slow cooker or even eat straight from the tin? Rice pudding and custard!!!

WafflyVersatile Wed 01-May-13 00:08:47

I think when I did my donation I bought stuff on the list but added a couple of big bags of shelled peanuts because they are high in calories and useful for snacks.

personal care items I think are very important. deodorant, shampoo, soap, razors, sanitary products. these things mean so much.

I always remember having to interpret for a Bosnian woman who had fled with her children and a bag of essentials to a friend in another country.. Her friend was astonished she had included a pair of high heeled shoes and remonstrated with her.. She explained that just because she was a refugee did not mean she was not a woman and that who was her friend to decide what was important to her. Such a lesson in not dictating need.

She needed those shoes to be herself. when everything else had been stripped from her.

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 00:12:19

MadameDe - absolutely x

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:15:40

My mothers church runs a small food bank, it is open once a week and they get sent clients from family services. My mom said sometimes a person would open up a loaf of bread right there and eat it, as they were so hungry. (in Canada here, so things may be a bit different) My mother was telling me one day that an older, single woman who received a turkey, started crying. My son, aged 6, who was listening asked my mother, "Didn't she like turkey?"
Such an innocent question, made me feel choked up to have to explain the woman was happy as she may not have had meat in a while.

WafflyVersatile Wed 01-May-13 00:19:59

Also turkey is christmas. It's what it symbolises as much as about not going hungry.

Ugh. so angry that this is necessary.

UrbaneLandlord Wed 01-May-13 00:20:40

We all have rights; and we all have responsibilities.

We can find ourselves unemployed, in which case we may have a right to unemployment benefits. But that right to unemployment benefits is not unqualified. If an individual wants to claim money off the working population via the mechanism of Government benefits then that individual needs to demonstrate to the Government that they are doing everything within their power to get a job.

I've read through most of this thread, and I've not seen one suggestion that any of the recipients of food-charity from food-banks should take more responsibility for their own lives.

Yes, it is your responsibility to attend interviews, training and job experience (paid or unpaid).

Yes, it is your responsibility to, perhaps, get a "rubbish" minimum-wage job and maybe stick at it for months or years (like many fine people do).

Yes, it is your responsibility to travel 10s of miles for a job (like many fine people do).

However well-intentioned, many of the contributors to this thread are infantilising the recipients of food-charity from food-banks.

I am very pleased that the Government is, at last, starting to show true compassion towards the unemployed: the belief that, with appropriate carrot & stick incentives, they are capable of becoming contributive & self-accomplished citizens.

do fuck off urbane. you have no bloody idea what it is like. there is no compassion in stripping the most vulnerable of even the most basic necessities.

what you need to really be concerned about is the govt offloading its duty to the vulnerable onto the charity sector.

and there is no such word as contributive.. and self-accomplished is not a word either.

God help you if you need to write a covering letter to get a job.

Darkesteyes Wed 01-May-13 00:26:14

Yes, it is your responsibility to attend interviews, training and job experience (paid or unpaid

What for people like fucking Poundland so they can get out of paying a decent wage?

Urbane biscuit biscuit biscuit

Indeed Darkest. The govt already subsidise business paying low wages through WTC. Now they will just hand over jobseekers to work for nothing. Struggling to see where businesses are being forced to stand or fall on their own success.

Urbane, sincr you're clearly so good at motivational speeches, come and talk to a friend of mine who works 35 hours a week in a low paid job, she can't work anymore hours due to having to be there for her severely, almost terminally,' ill partner and disabled child...who walks an hour each way to work each day just so she can spend the bus fare on food for her 4 children, who when I saw her last week was eating spoons of fucking condiments from the back of the cupboard so her children and partner could eat proper food and she can't afford to feed them all and who is barely surviving because if she can't make rent again then they are all homeless

But that's cool, I'll just tell her to take more responsibility for her life

And Urbane, do you not grasp the concept of national insurance contributions?we pay those when in work...and draw them out when not. it is not money for nothing.

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:39:38

UrbaneLandlord well, that goes without saying and who says they do not make efforts. That was not the OP's topic. The topic was why were some sugary items on the food bank wanted items list.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 00:42:07

What the actual fuck is that post doing on this thread???

Do you know what compassion actually means.

Do you also know that one of the largest groups helped out by food banks are working people on the NMW.

closely followed by families with a disabled household member many of whom are also working.

Before you post again go and learn something about the thing your scorning because such uneducated incorrect bigoted viewpoints are usually only held by very stupid people.

It's absolutely disgusting that we need foodbanks and projects like TSC, Custardo and others have mentioned. People should be able to manage to feed themselves and their kids on either their wage, or their benefit. The fact that they can't shows a real need for a DECENT wage and DECENT help for those on benefits.

That said, I am glad that foodbanks and projects have been set up because whilst we all know what the ideal is, we have to face facts. I'm not loaded by any means, but I can afford an extra fiver a week on my shopping budget to spend on foodbanks items-some practical, some more treat like. Thanks OP you've inspired me smile

ICBINEG Wed 01-May-13 01:09:05

I think urban's post is lovely...what is lovely about it is that in nearly 300 posts of compassion it stands so utterly alone.

Thanks for this reminder to DO something to help people who find themselves up shit creak unexpectedly this month.

WafflyVersatile Wed 01-May-13 01:16:11

urbane Where do you stand on people's responsibilities not be ignorant, hateful arseholes?

Do you know what? I work for a union and go round chatting to members. The majority of our members are low paid women. Some of these women are working full time and have a partner also working full time. But they've had a pay freeze for (at least) 3 years (we are public sector) and so their money is worth 16-18% less than 3 years ago. Their bills, food, petrol, clothing costs etc have all risen every year and now they are struggling. I have members who can not afford school uniform for their kids. Who can't repair the boiler. We have a charity for members-all means tested etc. applications are up by about 140%

The answer is not as simple as 'get a job'. Oh how I wish it was!

Cross posted with quite a few (thank god, with friends I am the lone voice, with mumsnetters you lot get it!) smile

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 08:25:31

urbanelandlord what are you even saying I really hope you never find your self in a shitty lowpaid job like many manyfine people find themselves in , cos your mighty government wount give a shiney shite about you ,

OP I am sorry thanks I was rude to you and i am pleased you have had a change of heart

PunkHedgehog Wed 01-May-13 09:58:05

Yes, it is your responsibility to, perhaps, get a "rubbish" minimum-wage job and maybe stick at it for months or years (like many fine people do).

There are currently just under half a million job vacancies in this country. There are just over 2.5 million people officially unemployed. There are also almost 7 million people 'underemployed' (part time work, zero hours contracts etc. that often add up to nowhere near a living wage). The most elementary mathematics will show that even in the most perfect scenario of every unemployed person being both qualified to do and in the same part of the country as one of the vacancies, we still have a massive problem.

Obviously you are little hard of thinking, so let me help with the maths:

2,500,000 unemployed
+7,000,000 underemployed
9,500,000 looking for a job (or to upgrade to a full time job)

9,500,000 wanting jobs
-500,000 jobs
7,000,000 still un or underemployed

And that's ignoring all those people who are in full time jobs but still can't pay the bills because inflation has overtaken their wages.

Yes, it is your responsibility to travel 10s of miles for a job (like many fine people do).

And if you live in a village with no public transport (or the job doesn't pay enough to cover the bus fare), and can't afford to run a car, or buy a bike - what then? Or if you have a disability that makes travel difficult

urban I think you are missing the point the majority of people who use foodbanks are working. Take NMW with huge private rent bills and childcare, there is nothing left for food.

I'm lucky that I've never needed to use a foodbank but only because we have family who help. We are one big bill away from disaster.

TSC I'll second the PP who said speak to your local ASDA that is what community life is all about. Good Luck! grin

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 10:08:59

I'm going to my local ASDA this morning. I've never seen a tin bin there (although they have a CPL one which I donate to.) I'll have a look around and ask if there's not. Thanks for the suggestion.

melika Wed 01-May-13 10:53:01

I am sceptical of food banks, I would love to see the real poverty these people endure.

When I was little in the 70's and 80's, we didn't always have these items in our home. We ate leftovers, haslet not ham,bread and ketchup, cups of bovril etc. Would these people have never been to McDs? Tell me?

infamouspoo Wed 01-May-13 11:08:39

some sort of weird voyeur melika? hmm

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:12:53

And the people in the 20s would have have been sceptical if you had pleaded poverty on that diet melika

Ketchup? When my eldest two were little in the early 90s I couldn't afford Ketchup or Bovril for that matter.

I was very poor. Poor enough to remember what it was like not to be able to feed myself and my kids.

Hence my willingness to support foodbanks now.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:13:02

What I am saying is the food should be distributed to hostels, shelters etc. Social workers know the people who really need it.

exoticfruits Wed 01-May-13 11:15:48

People are referred- you can't just turn up!
Most of the need isn't in hostels and shelters.

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:16:03

No they don't.
Being poor does not make you a social service's case.
Do you think social services have got the resources to set up a child in need plan for every family who are skint.

Families don't always live in hostels, not yet. You can live in a house and be hungry.

Children shouldn't be living in shelters ffs.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:17:26

OMG mrsdevere are you saying ketchup is a luxury? 28p Tescos value range!

I was brought up on stews, beans on toast, corned beef slices and two veg, Jam sandwiches etc.

WafflyVersatile Wed 01-May-13 11:20:14

These people don't have left overs!

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:21:43

Oh the irony.

Are you saying ham is a luxury whilst talking about your jam and ketchup?

Do you allow your brain to process your thoughts before you spill them out onto the internet?

melika- if its a choice between a value loaf of bread or a bottle of value ketchup, then yes, ketchup is a luxury.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 01-May-13 11:23:12

No custard, rice pudding, biscuits or sugar for those bad poor people!

Just as a quick aside, the Salvation Army also collect and distribute food parcels in some areas if anyone was looking for a place to donate, if theres no food banks in the local area.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:30:17

What are you talking about of course ham is a luxury, have you not heard of Spam? Who do you think you are talking to?

Thewhingingdefective Wed 01-May-13 11:34:24

Chuff me, YABVU and a total tight arse if you begrudge a destitute family a tin of custard.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:35:46

I'm not objecting to anything in the food banks at all, they can have caviar.

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:38:01

Ham is not more expensive than Spam.
Do you do your own shopping?

You can buy ham for 32p
Ketchup should not be a luxury and I would happily donate some to a food bank.

But when you have to feed a child a packet of ham and a loaf of bread will do that. A bottle of ketchup will not.

I don't know who I am talking to. Someone who is confused. Someone who thinks families are lying to get free food, that having ham means you shouldn't get help.
Yet thinks ketchup is part of a food group.

Are you saying you would feed your child a ketchup sandwich in preference to a ham one?

You do realise that just because its got tomatoes in it, it doesn't make it a vegetable, right?

Like Jam isn't fruit.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:40:34

Where the hell do you get ham for 32p????

Yes, I shop in Aldi.

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:41:55

NOT ~Waitrose, Mrsdevere!

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 11:47:53

Well, it finally happened - this thread went the way of all other AIBU threads and became a slanging match.

Thanks Urbane and Melika for hijacking a perfectly reasonable thread.

I will reiterate - if you don't want to donate to a food bank then don't, nobody will force you.

If you think that foodbanks are unnecessary and accessed by scroungers then by all means don't use them.

For the rest of the world out there, tahnsk for caring and please continue to donate.

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 11:48:08


MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:49:05



melika Wed 01-May-13 11:52:25

Well done to the food banks, for the good work they do.

As long as it goes in the right mouths. ~Thank you and good morning!

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 11:53:07

Spam = 58p per 100gm
Ham = 41.8p per 100gm

OH! you mean niace ham...

exoticfruits Wed 01-May-13 11:53:36

You can see why people had such a hard time in the workhouse with some of these attitudes! (How dare Oliver Twist ask for more- he should have realised he was lucky to get as much as he did!)

melika Wed 01-May-13 11:54:18

Go away now, Mrs.


I think some people need to remember that this could be any one of us at any time. To think that basics in all our cupboards are seen as luxuries and parents are lying to get it is absurd. Sounds like some of you would t be happy unless they were eating fag ash covered scraps out the bins. Ffs these are people who have fallen on hard times, they don't need judgement they need help. And good to know that should any of us fall into this situation that we will be deemed as liars or not in need of help for the mere crime of having ham.

Just be thankful it's not you. And if you don't want to then don't donate but shut the hell up about the rest.

helenthemadex Wed 01-May-13 12:00:41

I haven't read all of this because its just so upsetting to see people so lacking in compassion for those in need. I am a huge believer in people working and being able to support themselves but you never know what is round the corner, and when you may need help or support.

I have been one of those people who has had to use a food bank, after my wanker ex left us and refused to support me and our daughters, I was told I was not entitled to any benefits, I'm in France and its a different system here much harder to get help, and it is often a very long time in coming over 4 months in my case.

How can I explain to the self rigthteous pricks on here, Im not stupid or lazy, Im happy to work I dont and didnt want to have handouts but I was in a position where working was not possible for me and I wasnt able to return to the UK either for family support it was very very dark times.

When I was given the voucher for the food bank, I cried, not only with relief but at the absolute humiliation it was absolutely devestating to be be in such a horrible position, and hard to accept that I had come this low its a very bitter pill to swallow. I was however grateful to the people who had donated there were basic items in there but also some 'luxuries' little chocolate puddings and biscuits which my lovely girls enjoyed and made things seem that little bit better, it wasnt out fault we were in this position fortunately I think they were oblivious to most of it.

My life is now a lot better, money is still tight as it is for many families. whenever there is a collection for the food bank I always give and as well as practical items I put one or two luxury items. At some points in life we all need that little something that makes our life that little bit easier.

The irony is that wanker ex and 'christian' in laws brag to their friends about sponsoring children in other countries (a great thing to do) but did nothing to help their own children/grandchildren

suzanski Wed 01-May-13 12:04:29

YABU topbannana I am so surprised to hear this attitude. Do you really think a tin of custard is a luxury?

"as long as it goes in the right mouths"

What do you think, people are using food banks for the fun of it?

This could happen to any of us. Through no fault of our own, not laziness or cant be bothered to work, but sheer bad luck or disaster.

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 12:15:20

Because I dare to challenge you?

I don't think so dear.

Showing off your French doesn't intimidate me either, even if I do feed my kids cheap ham grin

cheap ham and no ketchup MrsD grin

wordfactory Wed 01-May-13 12:21:16

I don't get why people get uppity about food banks.

The vast majority of people go to them becuas ehtye have no choice. They wouldn't do ti otherwise.

And if some go because they're feckless, rubish at planning, chaotic or whatever then so what!!!!!! At least we can feed their kids, ca't we?

melika Wed 01-May-13 12:26:41

tant and mrs you are a great team! Were you bullies at school?

wordfactory Wed 01-May-13 12:29:44

But melika who could have the wrong mouths?

Seriously, I wouldn't begrudge the worst junkie a tin of rice pudding!

Bullies? Bullying who exactly?

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 12:30:31

Back from ASDA now and no food bin - and no CPL bin either. I feel an email coming on.

gordyslovesheep Wed 01-May-13 12:32:10

Blimey its cliche bingo!

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 01-May-13 12:35:19

I do a lot of voluntary work for a local food bank, just got back in fact, people are referred from front line agencies because they have real need, and we need to help support each other at such time. Compassion and care.

We are seeing (unsurprisingly) a HUGE increase in need, but we are also seeing an increase in the numbers of folk donating. Kind folk who think of others, bloody marvellous.

It is not just people out of work, very often we see folk in low paid jobs who simply cannot make ends meet. We see mums who come in and are frantic for something to eat because they have given what they had to everyone else first.

Food that fills you up and gives you energy to fight the shitty hand that life has given you, or the time you are in, that's what you need, and you need to know that people care and want to help.

melika Wed 01-May-13 12:35:21

Wordfactory, I am not saying that. I just want to know it is going to the right people who literally haven't got anything in their cupboards or fridge.

Not the people who 'say' they haven't.

wordfactory Wed 01-May-13 12:41:37

melika if someone is willing to go to all that time and trouble for a tin of custard, I figure they're welcome to it, even if they've got ham in the fridge grin.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 01-May-13 12:41:38

And that is why people in my experience have to be referred to Food Banks. And its not a choice thing, it's a need. I have met people at the very end of their tether, people who are angry and frustrated at their situation, people so thankful for help.

Food Banks are not designed as a long term answer, more as a short term help. Where I work, people are given enough to last for three days, after which it is hoped their problem will have eased or a more long term support put in place. Not always works out like that, but I'm not seeing folk roll in on a whim as is being suggested here.

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 12:44:26


Again, because I dare to disagree with you?

And don't 'go away now' when you tell me to?

Grow up. If you make comments about the wrong type of mouths getting fed and that social services will know where the food needs to go to,

you will get challenged.

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 12:44:51

I'm not seeing the majority of posters suggesting that at all, Rather .

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 12:46:48

It gets worse.

Food banks are not just for those with nothing at all in their cupboards.

That is not the criteria.

You don't have to donate if you think too many people are getting away with their loot of some basics pasta and tinned peas.

RatherBeOnThePiste Wed 01-May-13 12:53:37

Fortunately, not a majority no, but I get so bloody cross when seeing lack of compassion in folk. The increase in the donations we see is truly heartwarming, some arrive with loads, one elderly woman yesterday brought in a tin of soup, the thought and care is out there. Good.

Re the actual food - One of my lovelies was telling me how he'd moved and didn't have the same facilities as he had once had so he needed instant food. He's a homeless man, and has actually moved to a new car park sad that was his home. So for him he needs food that he can just eat, no preparation needed, because it aint possible. Custard, biscuits, rice pudding, all a big bloody tick for him.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 12:58:44

Urbanes a bit of a worry isn't she? Blimey hmm

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 12:59:41

Most food banks do require a professional to refer and loads only issue 3 days worth and then you can only receive 3 food boxes within a rolling 12 month period.

Amy hungry mouth is the right mouth or do you seriously believe people with money just pop down to one suffer the humiliation of having to ask just because its closer than sainsburys?

JollyGolightly Wed 01-May-13 13:00:32

This thread has inspired me to make a donation to our local food bank this afternoon, including custard, rice pudding, and a shed load of chocolate biscuits.

Kaluki Wed 01-May-13 13:03:13

Oh this is a horrible thread.
OP you should be ashamed of yourself - don't bloody bother to donate if that is really how you feel. God forbid any of the dirty low down poor people get a free fucking biscuit or a tin of rice pud. If you donate then do it with from the kindness of your heart and not begrudgingly.
Have a biscuit from me and choke on it!

cozietoesie Wed 01-May-13 13:04:24


The OP changed her mind in the course of the thread.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 01-May-13 13:05:24

Urbane -are you some sort of twat? not the word i really want to use here!!!

You clearly have NO FUCKING IDEA!!!

We have been >>this<< close to needing a food bank - and no, we were not unemployed, we were trying our best to keep afloat. In actual terms we could have gone to family but not everyone has that luxury. It shouldn't be like this.

Take responsibility for themselves - are you of the "i'm alright so fuck you" type then? landlord??

I don't actually give two fucks what leads someone to need a foodbank actually - if someone needs food for their children, and themselves and they can't provide it, they need help. Simple as that

When i was young things were different people had more compassion, no way would anyone see people without food. The shop lady would let people have food on the slate, she wasn't rich, but he had compassion. Can you imagine that now???

You see, I could care less why someone needs to use a food bank.

For whatever reason, they are at the point where they are desperate for help. I dont care how or why they got into that situation. I care that there are people in my area that cannot afford to feed themselves or their children. That life is so bloody awful they have had to go through the process of getting a food bank voucher just so there is a few days food in the house.

and no, they probably arent "known" to social services. They have just suffered a very hard time and need help. So no, bloody SS wont "know where the food should go"

we have been skint to the point where we used to feed the kids and eat value cornflakes. Where we have borrowed money from every family member possible. Not because we were lazy, didnt want to work, fancied a bit of time off with someone else paying for it. Not because we pissed all our money up the wall and didnt buy food.
But because we were both made redundant in the same week. With no pay off and barely any savings in the middle of a fucking recession.

So if my donation to the food bank and SA helps someone have a hot meal, I dont care why they need it or whether they have "luxury items" or ketchup in their cupboard.
Because I know how bloody easy it is to be in that position.

SusanneLinder Wed 01-May-13 13:07:10

We did the trolley dash for the local foodbank.Horrible that they are needed in 2013.With the Welfare Changes-they are going to be invaluable. Apparently the police in some areas have foodbank vouchers, after they arrested a man for stealing food, cos he was starving. Instead of charging him-they referred him to Social Services for help and he got foof from foodbank.

I was always taught to not look down on people, unless you are helping them up.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 01-May-13 13:08:05

I was talking to my DP about this thread, he said that he simply could not believe that people needed this, not in a "its not true" way but with indredulity - its so so sad and he said that we will now buy something extra each week. Like he said, whats a tin of 32p peaches

It is not our job to decide who's mouths are the right one. It is our job to just be kind and compassionate towards people. It's better that those who don't need it get it, in the bid to reach out and help everyone, than no one gets anything for fear of giving it to the "wrong" people. If people wanna scam baked beans let them. Because if the alternative is that these program's don't exist then hundreds if people will loose out on what must be a valuable life line.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 01-May-13 13:10:05

This thread keeps making me cry sad People arguing over whether somone should have a packet of custard creams! fucking hell.

TeamEdward Wed 01-May-13 13:31:00

No one chooses to use a Foodbank, it's not a life-style option FFS. The people a foodabank serves are desperate, maybe not to Old Mother Hubbard state, but unable to feed themselves or their family. For many it's an indignity to ask for help like this, but dignity can kiss my arse if it comes to feeding my child or leaving them hungry.
The TeamEd household are fortunate enough not to need the foodbank, but that doesn't mean we will ignore those in need, or look down on them. It can happen to anyone.

bubblesinthesky Wed 01-May-13 13:41:33

Please watch this video. Perhaps I'm especially emotional today but it made me sob. Short and hard hitting. I think the ideas come from the children in it.

MrsDeVere Wed 01-May-13 13:43:50

I missed Urbane's odd little post

Nowhere in this thread have I seen anyone say that recipients shouldn't do any of the things you mention.

Indeed, due to the rules around claiming benefits, many of them will be doing those things already.

Others will have no recourse to public funds.
Others will be in work
Others will be unable to work due to caring responsibilities or severe illness and/or disability. Not because disabled people can't work but because it is extraordinarily hard to find work if you are disabled or are caring for a disabled child/partner/parent
Others will be in advanced stages of pregnancy
Others will have no childcare
Others will be homeless
Others will be in the grip of addiction.

^^^^^^^ they all need food too.

Benefit caps hit 'nice, decent people' as well as the feckless fuckers you know.

Take kinship carers for example. Approached by SS told 'if you dont take your gc/niece/cousin/friend's child in they will go into care for ever.
Told 'you don't need our financial support because look..you can claim all these benefits'
Told 'if you want to keep this child you have to give up work. You can't work full time and look after this traumatized child'
Told 'I know three kids is a lot to take on but you can rent a bigger place, here are the forms for HB'

Then big fucking boom. Benefit cap comes in, bedroom tax comes in, one of the kids leaves education, no longer eligible for CB, CTC

Left in the lurch.

Just one example of many different reasons that people find themselves in shtuck and need to ask for food.

Kaluki read OP's comment Tue 30-Apr-13 14:19:49 before you wish choking on someone.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 13:50:16

In the last few minutes I have issued a food bank voucher to a married woman with 3 children she works full time.

Her husband tried to kill her last night threw her purse and handbag and everything in it into a river her work can't sub her she has no other family

cornflakegirl Wed 01-May-13 13:51:58

I don't think it's completely unreasonable to care why someone needs to use a foodbank. I used to volunteer with my local soup kitchen, and I was initially of the viewpoint that if anyone was hard up enough to want food from the back of a van in a local car park, we should feed them, no questions. But after a few years, it felt like in some cases we were making the problem worse, not better - enabling the same people to continue in their dysfunctional lifestyles rather than helping them to improve their lives. Obviously not all of the people who came fell into that category, but a large proportion did. So now I prefer to support the local food bank, and a local charity that helps resettle people coming out of prison.

bubblesinthesky Wed 01-May-13 13:55:39

Oh and just come back from Asda. Inspired by someone on this thread I put 5 of the small cans of character spaghetti in the food bank trolly as well as 2 cans of tuna. For some reason the idea of a food bank volunteer being able to let a child choose between dora explorer, hello kitty and peppa pig spaghetti pleases me grin I know it does not really work like that but hopefully it will get directed towards children

One thing that brought home to me how precarious some people's lives are was when our neighbours fridge freezer broke down. They didn't have the cash to buy a replacement (second hand) for a couple of weeks. We ended up storing the contents of their freezer in ours until they could get a replacement. Imagine if nobody could help them with storing the food. They would have had to find the money for the fridge freezer and have lost all the food they had frozen.

These aren't feckless people, they are just people who have no margin for error, if something goes wrong its easy for the problems to cascade.

foofooyeah Wed 01-May-13 14:55:29

Ok I havent read all the posts but I was reading about a lady who was moritifed to have to use a food bank and when she got a parcel with kitkats in she cried as it was so long since they had had any treats at all.

onebridenobump Wed 01-May-13 15:45:30

I am doing this this week. I will never fully understand what it is like to live like this day to day, but even after 3 days I'm wishing I had factored in some sort or treat or at least something sugary. It is by no means easy.

If this post has done anything however, it's raised awareness, it's got people talking and its changed at least one person's mind about food banks.

Until this week I had no idea that people were living like this in the UK and as one person said up-thread its is utterly disgraceful.

Well done for getting involved and taking an interest to everyone that has looked up their local food bank and donated and well done for the majority for seeing that its not just people that are unemployed or a case for ss that need this help.

onebridenobump Wed 01-May-13 15:52:23

wow reading that back it seems really patronising, like a little pat on the head.

Please don't take it like that I'm just really glad people are talking about it smile

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 16:09:45

we didnt have ketchup in the 90s when my children were small we couldnt afford ketchup melika would you like a breakdown of how poor people are do you really think the most deprived people are in hostels sipping soup with fingerless gloves, you seriously need to stop and have a look around you maybe volunteer if you have a spare hour and you will see poor people who are trying to do their very best with what they have and need a helping hand

mrsjay Wed 01-May-13 16:12:46

y, I am not saying that. I just want to know it is going to the right people who literally haven't got anything in their cupboards or fridge.

you are actually clueless. yep cos that is what poor people do they take packets of burboun creams and pasta while they have a full fridge .

andubelievedthat Wed 01-May-13 16:58:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

dumbelina Wed 01-May-13 17:10:20

Thank you for this thread Topbannana, I glad you have rethought your position. This thread has inspired me to seek out my nearest food bank drop off point and donate some biscuits and puddings, and I hope to do this regularly from now on as this has made me realise how lucky I am that my family is not in a position to need this kind of help. I'm only sad that this wealthy country needs food banks to help the most vulneable in our population.

LalyRawr Wed 01-May-13 17:13:53

I donated £20 worth of food to my local one today.

I made sure to include biscuits, sanpro, shampoo/conditioner & deodorant as well.

I felt absolutely awful while doing it. I got a fair bit of stuff for £20 (mix of Tesco & Poundland), lots of stuff on offer, made sure there was treats as well as a good few meals. All for £20.

Yesterday I spent £25 on two candles.

Felt fucking awful.

GrendelsMum Wed 01-May-13 17:20:41

For those who don't have a foodbank box at their local supermarket, it's very easy to donate money online or by phone, or set up a standing order. The Trussell Trust runs foodbanks around the country:


pussycatwillum Wed 01-May-13 18:28:20

DD's Church run a foodbank. She says you shouldn't donate something you wouldn't buy yourself eg if you always have Heinz soup you should donate that not Asda value. I have stuck to this, so as I would buy value tinned tomatoes I donated them to foodbank, but I got the more expensive brand of rice pudding because that is what we have.
I can see the logic of this, but on the other hand with the 10 pounds I was planning to spend I could have got more if I had gone for only value brands. What do you think?
Thanks for starting the thread by the way OP.When we were on our beam ends I thought jam was a luxury so I can kind of see where you started out from, but DD told me that the parcels have been thought out properly.

TeamEdward Wed 01-May-13 18:47:58

I find myself doing the "downshift challenge" (where you buy a own brand rather than a premium brand, or a value brand instead of own brand) for my own household shopping, but "upshifting" when buying for the foodbank!

LEMisdisappointed Wed 01-May-13 19:19:36

I only buy tescos own stuff for home anyway and there is nothing wrong with it, in fact i prefer many of the products - beans and ketchup being examples, i much prefer tescos 23p ketchup to heinz, i think its wht you get used to, i find heinz much to tangy. If i was a recipient of a foodbank parcel i wouldn't care if my products were value brands but i would appreciate a few luxuries im sure. But yes, i think you shouldn't buy shitty food just because it is for a foodbank but you would be surprised how much more you get for your money if you buy stores own. Cornflakes is cornflakes whether they are kellogs or tescos. I often find myself looking hmm at people who have branded products as i am so used to buying the shops own stuff. The only thing i have noticed is that the variety pack cereals in tesco are £1.05 for kellogs and £1.38 for tesco - can you tell im on a budget? grin

WandOfElderNeverProsper Wed 01-May-13 20:32:15

I'd feel bad buying all branded stuff though, as I can't afford the same volume of branded as I could own brand? So if cheap pasta is 50p and branded is £1 twice as many people could eat for my £1 as if I bought branded? I buy mostly own brand for myself so its not a "eurgh the poor don't deserve brands" or anything like that! But then I'd never donate value meat products or eggs as ethically I'd never eat them myself so I'd only buy the free range etc.

Are things like nappies needed as well? My work give us free gift cards every so often and I thought about cashing it in for a bunch of smaller ones for the bank to put in parcels so people can buy nappies or top up fresh stuff or whatever?

Darkesteyes Wed 01-May-13 20:56:59

While doing a small shop in Sainsburys today i asked if they had a food bank donation box.
Yes so im taking some stuff in tomorrow.
Im currently on a diet and have 4 stone to lose. A few weeks ago i bought a box of dorset cereal (their simply nutty muesli. No raisins) At 11g of sugar per 45g i cant eat it.
I searched my cupboard and found 5 tins of veg ravioli (still 2 years in date) and some instant noodles (Mug Shots) So im taking this lot there tommorrow.
I figure that the dorset cereal will give someone some much needed energy.

Melika if i followed your 1970s "diet" i would gain a lot of weight. Ive had to cut right down on carbs hence why im giving them the veg ravioli.
And i pass an Iceland store on the way so i might pop in there to get some biscuits to go with this lot.

LalyRawr Wed 01-May-13 20:59:20

Wand I buy the same as I would for my family. So value rice/pasta as I have never been able to tell the difference between that and the more expensive ones, but soup I buy Heinz or Crosse and Blackwell, because they are generally thicker, more vegetables in than the value soups, which I find watery.

I know my food bank accepts gift cards for supermarkets. Not sure if they give to the people who need it for fresh stuff as you say or if they use it to buy food themselves for the bank. Maybe check with your local one and see what they say?

SoleSource Wed 01-May-13 21:02:33


Skinnywhippet Wed 01-May-13 21:07:43

Rice pudding is hardly that bad! I am sure the food banks are trying to provide a balanced diet and that means a mixture of all the food groups.

exoticfruits Wed 01-May-13 21:50:04

OP actually agreed she was being unreasonable near the start of this!

Darkesteyes Wed 01-May-13 22:04:56

Starving children surviving on a jam sandwich a day. Food Bank Britain.


Dawndonna Wed 01-May-13 22:29:01

I wonder if Urbane included the many, many people with disabilities in the government's compassionate agenda.

seesensepeople Wed 01-May-13 22:29:50

Nothing wrong with value foods. Nothing wrong with branded foods.

Nappies are needed, As are loo rolls, washing up liquid, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, lightbulbs, etc. So if you see these on offer and feel drawn to them then I'm pretty sure no foodbank would turn them away (we wouldn't).

Please, give what you can and congratulate yourself on making a difference - honestly every single item will be passed on to someone who needs it.

If you really want to treat someone it's pretty difficult to beat a tin of tuna for nourishment, health awards and ease of use!

pussycatwillum Thu 02-May-13 08:24:22

Do Trussell Trust foodbanks take nappies, loo rolls etc.? I got the list of foods from their website and I send the goods back with DD when she goes home, but I didn't see anything about paper goods.

stressedHEmum Thu 02-May-13 10:32:51

pussycat, yes, they do. Also things like sanitary towels, baby food and pet food.

pussycatwillum Thu 02-May-13 16:24:55

Thanks, stressed.

Isiolo Thu 02-May-13 16:28:32

Good God!

the OP made me cry sad

littlemonkeychops Thu 02-May-13 19:08:23

OP you inspired me, just be in sains and popped a couple of tins of rice pudding in the foodbank :-)

Livinglavidafoca Thu 02-May-13 21:22:56

YANBU. They should only be given bread and water. Gruel is a luxury here. sarcasm

Just to remind people that the OP did accept that she was wrong on this about a dozen pages ago.

Just saying!

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