Op-ed: We went to a screening of I Daniel Blake Thursday at Hull Independent Cinemas in Hull Truck Theatre's Studio.
It is a cliche to say there was not a dry eye in the house but in this case it is true.
I would recommend you watch it if you get the chance.
Two workers from Hull Foodbank were collecting donations, food and money, and profits from the screening were also going to this charity.
Online later a somewhat heated debate about supporting foodbanks ensued.
Perhaps I was still shell shocked from I Daniel Blake but either way it was hard to agree with one woman who thought as socialists we should not support Foodbank.
While I could agree with that I also disagreed.
When we have a true Labour government or socialist one in place there should be no need for foodbanks. The safety net of social security should prevent any tragedies.
However in Tory Britain 2016 foodbanks are a necessary evil; but for those who they help they are staffed by life saving angels.
We hear so many times how rich the UK is and the government commits billions to refurbishing Buckingham Palacebut in Foodbanks there are people so desperately hungry they open tins of beans and devour the cold contents there and then.
Many people are ashamed that they need to use a foodbank; there is also a stigma attached which means in Hull for example there is no signage on the building.
It is a disgrace that you have a benefits system aimed at removing people from benefits, sometimes by silly but devastating sanctions, with staff then referring you to a Foodbank.
Just think about all the implications; it is not rocket science.
Day two of our advent calendar is #Foodbanks as you still have time to put together an item a day in the run up to Christmas to help ease suffering. As one of the staff from the Foodbank told me every tin matters.
I left the screening Thursday feeling blessed though I am not religious. Lucky I guess is a better word.
We have experienced unemployment and more during our lives but we survived. Would we be able to survive if we were in that position again in 2016?
We are all potentially a pay check or health issue away from being #DanielBlake
Each time Cameron was asked about the increased need for foodbanks he turned the talk around to his doomed 'big society' and talked about how good it is that people are helping each other, totally and intentionally missing the point and dodging any questions.
In a T.V. interview David Cameron claimed his government had created 1,000 jobs for each day they had been in office but those figures simply did not add up. In the 21st Century many jobless people no longer sign on as unemployed and work is more often part-time, temporary, low-paid or on zero-hours contracts.
Iain Duncan Smith and Chancellor Osborne are the two main Tory M.P's savaging the poor and vulnerable of the U.K. but neither lives in the "real world."
Iain Duncan Smith, Tory minister for Work and Pensions, is one of the darlings of the Conservative party; he has survived cabinet re-shuffles and seems to go from political strength to strength.
That could be due to many reasons not least his hard-hearted attitude to the financial suffering of the vulnerable and the poor in Britain; is there another Tory minister who would dole out budgets cuts with such glee and enthusiasm?
Who can forget the photo [shown above] of Smith lapping up the moment Chancellor George Osborne announced more benefit cuts in his July budget; Smith looked positively ecstatic that some of the poorest people in the U.K. would get that bit poorer.
IDS “married Elizabeth "Betsy" Fremantle, daughter of the 5th Baron Cottesloe, in 1982. The couple have four children, and live in a country house belonging to his father-in-law's estate in Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire" according to Wikipedia.
"In 2005, his wealth was estimated at £1 million, much of which has apparently been acquired by after-dinner speaking. An "audience with Duncan Smith", however, which was held at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall, attracted an audience of only 67 people."
As for George Osborne - there are allegations that a "family business made £6m in a property deal with a developer based in a tax haven" and reports that he is able to use a country mansion as a free getaway.
So both men have no idea how many people in the U.K. live or understand the daily struggles of 'we the people'.
Just those two stories illustrate the Tory's priorities and show helping the poor or reducing the number of people forced to live on the streets is not part of the plan.
In December 2014 homeless charity Shelter reported '90,000 children in Britain will be homeless this Christmas.'
Adding insult to injury Tuesday David Cameron announced, as predicted earlier in 2015, the Tories plan to extend Thatcher's right-to-buy scheme to include housing association properties.
This move will obviously lead to a further increase in homelessness, more foodbanks opening and an extension of the unofficial 'social cleansing' in operation in London.
The announcement one-day ahead of the homeless marches and in view of the increased number of people living on the streets shows how out of touch the Tories are.
But they had not even thought about the response of the actual housing associations who quickly threatened to sue if the plan goes ahead.
The extension of the right-to-buy-scheme could be another failed promise in the making.
Op-Ed: Food banks are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. The UK has experienced poverty and unemployment before but in modern times the welfare state has provided for those in most need. Soup kitchens and the like tended to be used by those who were living on the streets full-time or were exceptionally down on their luck, often due to mental illness, alcohol dependency or drug abuse, but not anymore.
Food Banks are proving life savers to a different section of society in the 21st Century and the numbers are increasing.
The Trussell Trust is the organiser behind the many food banks now scattered around the UK. When you consider that according to their statistics in 2013 more than 13 million people in the UK were living below the poverty line, it is easy to see why the use of food banks continues to grow.
In 2013 Television media reported UK Food Banks speaking of families trying to live on £400 a month. In one family the parents did not eat for the odd day here and there in order to feed their child. This particular couple were originally ashamed that they needed such "charity" as a food bank but desperate times lead to desperate measures.
The Trussell Trust reports n March 2015 "The charity, which runs a network of over 400 UK foodbanks, says that the number of people helped by their foodbanks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year is 38% higher than numbers helped during the same period last year. 492,641 people were given three days' food and support, including 176,565 children, between April and September 2014, compared to 355,982 during same period in previous year."
Food banks rely on the support of ordinary people and local communities. It is like a co-operative in the true sense of the word with those who have a little more helping those living on the edge. In such rollercoaster times who know when it could be YOU needing the help.
But David Cameron's 2015 electioneering stance on foodbanks is shameful
Each time Cameron is asked about the increased need of foodbanks he turns the talk around to his doomed 'big society' and talks about how good it is that people are helping each other, totally and intentionally missing the point and dodging any questions.
Tuesday, David Cameron in a TV interview again claimed his government have created 1,000 jobs for each day they have been in office but those figures do not add up. In the 21st Century many jobless people no longer sign on as unemployed and work is more often part-time, temporary, low-paid or on zero-hours contracts.
The growth of foodbanks under Cameron's watch is shocking
Trussell Trust foodbanks began as a Christian charity, when Labour was in office, to help the poorest in society. A couple of thousand people across the country used them in 2005/2006 which increased ten-fold as the global economic crisis of 2008 hit.
Those figures however are nothing compared to in 2015.
Under the Tory led coalition, during a period they claim is now economically good, the number of people using foodbanks increased dramatically in number and are used by the 'working poor of the UK'.
Foodbanks are supposed to be an emergency stop gap but for the poorest people in British society they are now a way of life.
The reasons for a sudden or urgent need to use a food bank may be ill health, redundancy, loss of a partner and more. In many ways the food banks offer a service which saves the government money. In turn this saves all of us.
Just think about it. A family suddenly thrown into a desperate situation with little money for the basic foods; more health problems, a family breakdown or turning to a life of crime are all distinct possibilities.
The UK government needs to do more to prevent poverty, especially for children instead of allowing The Trussell Trust to fulfil a need in British society. Each food bank offers a three day supply box of food for those in an emergency situation. If you want to help below is a list of items which the Trussell Trust can always utilise:
Milk (UHT or powdered)
Fruit juice (carton)
Sponge pudding (tinned)
Rice pudding (tinned)
Tea Bags/instant coffee
Instant mash potato
Biscuits or snack bars
As welfare benefits continue to be cut to the bone more and more people are reaching out to this charity. Please support if you are able. The charity had humble beginnings and the website carries details of the Salisbury foodbank. It says, "Starting in a garden shed in 2000, Salisbury foodbank fed 3,906 people in crisis locally in 2011 and is the inspiration behind the UK foodbank network." No mean feat! There is also advice on starting your own foodbank but we would prefer the goverment to do its job and provide Social Security for the people of the UK.
In the 21st Century, in a rich country like Britain, should we even have foodbanks which are in effect 21st Century soup kitchens?
Labour latest: Labour pledges to end dependency on food banks with welfare reforms. The Labour Party is promising to scrap benefit sanctions and low pay culture that it believes is forcing people to turn to food banks - March 25.
Tuesday March 31 "Scottish Labour makes food banks pledge. Scottish Labour has unveiled a plan to end the need for food banks, as figures show more than 60 children a day are relying on such hand-outs."