Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Food Banks - BBC Programme last night

Hmm Don't know if you caught the very late food bank programme on BBC. It should be on I player.

Raised some questions for me.

Food banks while delivering food as an emergency is all well and good. You need to be referred to a food bank from various sources/agenices and deemed to be in need. I have sympathy for genuine peeps who are in this predicament. Changes in circumstanes - a delayed payment of benefits etc etc

One family with five children where parent had gone to university and the wife worked part time had their housing benefit mucked up and had got into debt. She had also had difficulties actually getting the food and was judged. They were clearly genuine.

However my main issue was that no one was actually advising these people how to make their food last longer, work to a budget etc.

One family of four claimed they needed £90 a week to feed themselves properly!!! They were on benefits and regularly used the food bank.

Now life on benefits is tough and you need to be super frugal. But !!!!£90 Get real! Thats proper luxury in my book!

There were a few people who had got into debt with those legal loan sharks such as Wonga and Money Exchange that had ridiculous interest rates and will take everything from your bank account as means of re payment leaving you with nothing. A few people had fallen into this trap but borrowing is another story.  I have sympathy as they are clearly not the most money/credit savy of folk if they felt the need to use a loan source such as this.  What they needed the loan for I don't know.  But we can all make mistakes with these evil sources who are nothing but legal loop hole loan sharks.

Point. Most months I am skint and know I have to tighten the belt and not spend on stuff I don't need.
Food is a priority. £30 feeds me and Weeny and Biggles at weekends very adequately.  I could reduce this easily to £20. All household stuff in included in this. Utilities I budget for as well. Drastically. £25 per month on gas and £25 per month on Electric. This builds up over time as so far I haven't spent all this but you never know with winter and what it may bring.

Can I use a food bank please? It would really help. But because I budget and live in my meagre means I am deemed ok. And its tight. Very tight.

Maybe as a welfare move the government/ food banks needs to teach people how to budget for food ,electricity etc (Mr C's Big new society should be able to rustle up some volunteers) - on benefits then just like the employability coursesfor  job seekers that they must attend after a while, what about budgeting courses that are also mandatory. Especially if they have children. Learn how rto eek out mince with grated carrot, learn how to cook veg! Jees!

Do I feel crap at times that my daughter does not have a nice house like her little pals? Has to wear second hand clothes, has second hand toys??? Yes but it changes nowt and we get on with it. Suck it up and move on.

And loads of these people had pets. Poor pets.. Did they get fed??? I would love to have a dog but know I couldn't afford the care and up keep.

Priorities me thinks.  grump and grump.