Express & Star comment: More and more people turning to food banks

If how busy the food banks are is a measure of hardship, then we are currently seeing deprivation, poverty, and misery on a frightening scale.

Food bank items
Food bank items

More and more people are turning to them for help. For some, this involves swallowing their pride, as hitherto they have not wanted to have to resort to what they consider to be handouts.

But we are seeing a sea of troubles. There are those who are in such straits in "normal" times that they seek the help of the food banks. These are not normal times.

The global pandemic has created a new constituency of people in financial difficulty and unable to make ends meet.

This has resulted in food banks seeing new faces, people who are finding the going really tough, especially during the lockdown, and either have a chronic struggle requiring repeated help, or who find it a godsend to be able to visit a food bank just to get them through a temporary crisis after the money runs out at the end of the month.

So food banks have seen a rise in the numbers who are accessing what they offer. Some have described the work of the food banks as "lifesaving."

It is certainly a lifeline, so let us give praise to all those who are involved in delivering this service, which is proving so vital.

Praise too to all those who support them and donate food.

It is not all that long ago that there were no food banks at all. How people with their backs to the wall would have coped without them in the current circumstances, we can only guess.

Perhaps they would not and we would be seeing today levels of poverty and misery which we more readily associate with past eras.

And we should not assume that that is not what we are seeing. Much as we would like to think that desperate poverty does not exist in 21st century Britain, the food banks are barometers of hardship in our society which point to a problem which cannot be ignored.

Coronavirus has no doubt made things worse, but once the pandemic is over it may leave a poverty pandemic as a legacy to be addressed.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News