Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Hunger in the UK

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has challenged politicians of all parties to confront the “simple but devastating fact that hunger stalks this country”.

The Archbishop was speaking at the launch of a report into the use of food banks in the UK - a damning report that blames the rise in food bank usage on failures in the welfare system.

The report speaks in scathing tones about the Department for Work and Pensions, saying that the current welfare system is "cumbersome, complicated and fails to respond effectively”.

The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK, who produce the report, are calling for the Government to set up a new network - Feeding Britain - to co-ordinate the work of charities and voluntary organisations that currently exist to feed the hungry of our nation.

Archbishop Welby said of the efforts of food banks: “This extraordinary achievement has been done without the assistance of central government. If the Prime Minister wants to meet his Big Society, it is here.”

Meanwhile, Tory Peer Lady Jenkins has said that “we have lost a lot of our cookery skills. Poor people do not know how to cook.”

Lady Jenkins later distanced herself from the remarks, saying: “What I meant was as a society we have lost our ability to cook. That seems no longer to be handed down in the way that it was by previous generations.

“I am well aware that I made a mistake in saying it and apologise to anybody who’s been offended by it.

“The point is valid. If people today had the cooking skills that previous generations had, none of us would be eating so much pre-prepared food.”

Most people I know have the ability to cook perfectly well.  Lady Jenkins' comments seem to be another attack on the poor - casting them as feckless people who do nothing but eat processed food, and don't have the intelligence to cook properly.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a big job on his hands to change the prevalent political attitude.

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