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Jobcentres to send poor and hungry to charity foodbanks

(9 Posts)
Passingthegoss Sun 18-Sep-11 12:47:36

Published in today's Independent

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jobcentres-to-send-poor-and-hungry-to-charity-food-banks-2356578.html

This would appear to contravene The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:

Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

The UK is a signatory to that agreement, they cannot just hive off responsibility onto a charity.

The poverty line

www.cpag.org.uk/povertyfacts/

Passingthegoss Sun 18-Sep-11 12:48:29

This is an absolute disgrace!

PattySimcox Sun 18-Sep-11 13:03:55

Agree that charities shouldn't be picking up the slack, but I'm stunned to find that according to the CPAP definition that we are living below the poverty line, whereas I consider us to be quite well off. shock

Earlybird Sun 18-Sep-11 14:08:42

Presumably those in need are claiming all benefits they are eligible for.

If they need extra help on top, surely it is a good thing that charity food banks exist as an additional resource?

Rhymenoseros Sun 18-Sep-11 14:31:49

earlybird the problems come when benefits are delayed which in my experience I have found I have been without an income for almost three months whilst they processed the claim. All we had was the child benefit which I was having to use to pay some of the rent so that we were not evicted, until the HB was sorted (HB doesn't come through until Income support etc is confirmed.) Its not so much about needing extra help on top of benefits, but needing help while they are being processed.

In my situation I had no idea foodbanks existed until I saw an article in the 'trussel trust' on the news. We survived our three months on the kindness of family and friends and by using the three crisis loans per year entitlement in the first three months of the year (so now if I have a crisis I will not be able to get a crisis loan until next april)

I now volunteer at my local foodbank(not trussel-none in my area) as a stepping stone to getting back into work after a long illness. there are lots of people coming through the doors because their benefit application is taking so long to be processed. Others have had benefit stopped with no apparent reason ie they signed on as usual but the money just didn't arrive.

The government needs to review the process of claiming benefit-why it takes so long for claims to be processed. People claim benefits when they have no money so what does the govt expect them to do while they wait for benefits? could there be some sort of temporary benefit that can be recouperated easily if it turns out the claimant is not actually eligible for benefits?

belledechocchipcookie Sun 18-Sep-11 15:10:55

This has actually been going on for years. Here (in Derby) people can get letters (from social services/CAB etc) to take to the homeless shelter which can be exchanged for bags of food. It isn't anything new and yes, it is a disgrace.

misdee Sun 18-Sep-11 15:13:16

there is a local foodbank here you get the vouchers from HV? childrens centre and take it to the local church. some people do misuse it and go every week sadly..

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 18-Sep-11 15:46:06

Don't knock the contribution of charities. The lifeboat service is a charity, ditto mountain rescue, the air ambulance, guide dogs... all kinds of things that might be classed as 'essential'. If the provision is there, even if it is provided by a charity, it is there.

sleepevader Sat 24-Sep-11 18:34:07

Ex dwp here.

Heard this story a while ago. I think it will be used as a way of jobcentres/processing centres shunning responsibilities up process emergency payments. If all evidence is received no reason why claims can't be paid if emergency payment requested and 7 days from date of claim reach.

Of course that doesn't help the majority of claims who are stuck in backlog that don't request an EP....... However there simply aren't enough processors with all the cut backs.

Trussel and similar do great work but I real issue with jobcentres holding vouchers. I have issued vouchers myself in a different role. It's a position that I dont think the people who are perceived as being responsible for the delay should have.

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