Frank Field MP
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Food banks are becoming part of our society

Who would have thought 10 years ago, let alone earlier in the post-war period, that food banks would be a growing industry? But that’s what’s happening in Britain today.

Clearly something disturbing is happening at the bottom of our society. Food banks are becoming part of the scene.

Some people explain away the existence of food banks by asserting that here is another example of supply creating its own demand. In other words if you set up a food bank people make use of this.

But strict monitoring occurs to prevent life’s freeloaders from benefitting. There are equally powerful explanations for food bank usage.

Benefit delays and sanctions are on the increase. No doubt these sanctions are in some cases fully deserved. But not always. Some very vulnerable people are being penalised.

Because there are many opinions but few facts about food banks I’ve written to the Prime Minister asking him to conduct an urgent inquiry.

If food banks go on growing, and nobody tries to find out what the deep causes are, we will be in danger of developing the American model of welfare. Food banks there are a permanent part of the scenery.

So while the Prime Minister makes up his mind about an inquiry, may I thank those people who man our food banks and those of you who provide them with food?
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