Sunday, 20 April 2014

Food Banks

Undercover Investigation of food banks in the Daily Mail concludes with this:-

Last night the Trussell Trust said it would investigate allegations of abuse, adding: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that awareness of the food banks is driving an increase in visitors, rather that food bank use is meeting a real and growing need.

I don't think you really need evidence in this matter. There are people out there that if it's worthwhile will lie to get free things, even more so if there's no risk of prosecution from lying, and if you make them aware of more free things, they'll take them.

In the example, someone sees the CAB, spends time doing an interview, gets £40 of food vouchers. I'm guessing it took less than an hour, which is more than most people earn, so if someone had no moral objection to doing it, why wouldn't they do it? Are food banks even running out of food, or has the demand just created even greater supply?

We're looking at something like 800,000 parcels per annum. About the same as the number of burglaries each year, just to give you some perspective on the level of people who will break normal acceptable moral behaviour in this country. I'm not saying that some of the rise isn't based on benefits, but it's not exactly challenging to ask if a great deal of these people are just mooching.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Well, who's to say whether people are "deserving of a handout"? If these charities are truly voluntary they can give food to anybody they like.

You can make up whatever rules you like, but I think most people who use food banks are probably quite poor or desperate. It wouldn't occur to me to go and get some freebies, I can afford to buy it in the supermarket.

These charities are perfectly entitled to police the system more strictly if they wish, like asking for UB40s (or whatever they are called nowadays), but the cost and hassle of doing so is probably not worth it.

The Stigler said...

I'm just saying that the Trussell Trust are talking nonsense to assume that moochers won't mooch on something free that appears.

Yes, a lot of people are desperate, but a lot aren't. I've met people who have no shame and would go to a foodbank just to get free food.

They are entitled to police the system how they please, but they have repeatedly stated that they are carefully vetting people and setting limits, and well, it seems like maybe they aren't. Which then makes the numbers of the growth of foodbanks questionable.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, I heartily agree that the raw number of people using food banks is fairly meaningless.

JuliaM said...

The Trussel Trust doesn't understand human nature?

On the contrary, they understand it all too well!