A woman using food banks breaks down on live TV: “I need to let the nation know what it’s like”
From The Canary: Tracey Culham said using food banks is “the most degrading thing”, especially when “you’ve worked all your life”. Her intervention on national television is a glimpse of the reality for many under the Conservative austerity programme.
The Conservative government is directly responsible for pushing ordinary people into food poverty. The number of three-day food packages sent out by the Trussell Trust alone increased from 40,898 to 1,182,954 between 2010 and 2016-17. That’s a record-breaking increase of 2,792% since the Conservatives came to power.
But it’s worse than that. A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hunger estimates that over half the emergency food issued comes from organisations independent from the Trussell Trust’s figures. This means the real numbers are much higher.
The government tries to downplay the connection between its policies and food bank use, saying that it’s “complex”. But, as common sense suggests, an Oxford University study confirms a “robust link” between the stripping down of the welfare state and food bank use.
Recently, the government’s flagship welfare overhaul to Universal Credit has only added to the chaos, leading to an even greater spike in food bank use. And the public spending cuts are only deepening under May’s premiership. Her Chancellor, Philip Hammond, recommitted to austerity in his budget speech.