There is nothing shameful about getting help from people when it is really needed. But when a family needs to rely on handouts to eat, then it becomes another contentious issue of concern.

Recently at the Akashic Times, we covered the Trussell Trust’s report on how more than 900,000 people were given emergency food, and this coincides with those seeking a benefit sanction. The Trussell Trust is the UK’s biggest food bank charity and they insist that this has now breached the international law and violated the human right to food. Recently, around 600 leaders from all religious factions come together and condemned the 163 per cent increase in the number of people visiting the food bank in the past year, by asking the Government to address this urgently and the hunger among the poor.

The reasons for this huge increase in number are partially due to the benefit reforms.

The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, reported, “Food banks have become a shameful symbol of David Cameron’s Government’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. Ministers must take urgent action to fix the broken system in which benefit delays or changes have led to 50 per cent of all referrals to food banks.”

What are the other reasons behind this huge increase in people visiting the food bank? It cannot be assumed that it is just the lack of benefits one receives. The Trussell Trust chairman, Chris Mould said: “Static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, under-employment and other problems related to welfare reform also contributed to the increased demand.”

Keith Hebden, spokesman for End Hunger Fast and Mansfield parish priest said that “the government ignores food banks peril”.

He added: “I have never before seen religious leaders so united on an issue and I hope our collective words and prayers reach the ears of politicians who have the power to act.”

However, a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said that the government was spending £94 billion a year on working age benefits in order to help low-income people.

It is obvious this isn’t working. Many people are appalled by the statistics presented by the Trussell Trust. Yet whoever is at fault, more must be done to ease the situation, and to lift people out of the poverty line so they can buy food, pay their bills, and bring up children in a healthy manner.

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