Tory MP’s comment that rise in food banks shows uplifting picture of compassion ‘shows he’s out of touch’

Foodbank volunteers
iStock.com/asiseeit

Charities have reacted angrily after the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the rapid increase in food banks showed a “rather uplifting” picture of a compassionate country. There are at least 2,000 food banks in the UK giving out emergency food parcels to people in hardship, according to a survey published in May. In 2010, just a handful existed.

Challenged by a caller to a radio phone-in about the rapid rise in food banks, Rees-Mogg argued on Thursday that they fulfilled a vital function. “I don’t think the state can do everything,” he said. “It tries to provide a base of welfare that should allow people to make ends meet during the course of the week, but on some occasions that will not work. “And to have charitable support given by people voluntarily to support their fellow citizens, I think is rather uplifting and shows what a good, compassionate country we are.”

Garry Lemon, the head of media and external affairs at the Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network, said: “We agree that the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations is uplifting, but food banks are an emergency service and whilst they do all they can to offer support to people in crisis they cannot solve structural problems alone.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/14/jacob-rees-mogg-increased-use-food-banks-rather-uplifting

A spokesperson for the Camden foodbanks told Feeding Camden: “Personally I consider it shameful that we are the fifth richest nation in the world and yet we have millions of citizens and their children living in poverty. This Government should end their austerity measures and ensure a living wage. As St Augustine said: “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.”

“Personally I consider it shameful that we are the fifth richest nation in the world and yet we have millions of citizens and their children living in poverty. This Government should end their austerity measures and ensure a living wage. As St Augustine said: “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.”

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Tory MP’s comment that rise in food banks shows uplifting picture of compassion ‘shows he’s out of touch’