The Food bank
All the words that follow (apart from Luke’s Gospel) are taken from an article by a Guardian reporter who spent a month with Huddersfield’s food bank. As well as the grim poverty, she describes the dedication of the workers, and the decency of ordinary people, supporters, volunteers and clients.
Every morning at the Welcome Centre in Huddersfield goes like this.
She makes her way to the kitchen, for a cup of tea,
It’s about dignity, respect, her pokey, strip-lit office
The Centre 25 years ago, was a small,
church-run affair, just a cupboard of tins
to give to people whose houses
had burned down, or flooded –
that sort of thing.
Now it supports anyone –
from 18-year-old care leavers
to working families,
women fleeing domestic violence,
Every corridor and store cupboard is crammed
with crates and clear storage baskets.
sanitary towels tampons,
shower gel shampoo
(never enough men’s razors and shaving foam).
the busiest day,
the doorbell is ringing
the doorbell is ringing constantly.
For one person for a week:
a carton of milk,
two tins of meat meals, two
tins of soup,
two tins of baked beans,
one tin of fish,
one jar of pasta sauce,
500g of pasta,
a jar of peanut butter,
a box of cereal, a pack
of dried noodles, two
one bag of sugar, 20
a loaf of bread
some butter, two
a packet of
He’s been through difficult times himself,
buys packet soups and puts them
through the letterbox.
Could we cancel her pack for next week,
asks a woman in sixties,
(who doesn’t eat that much)
so someone else can have it?
A couple, who are sleeping in their car:
after the pack is done, she pauses,
puts in a box of chocolates,
it might lift their spirits.
It was gone midday.
A young child opened the door,
looked at the food,
ran to ask her mother
if she could eat breakfast now.
The day the government voted to end free school meals
during school holidays for low-income children,
No one wants to see children go hungry, do they?
An MP tweeted: “I do not believe in nationalising children.
Instead, we need to get back to the idea of taking responsibility,
and that means less celebrity virtue-signalling on Twitter.
Or at least, you’d think they don’t want to see that…
The only way any of us will get through
the next few months is together.
And these will be very dark months, indeed.
Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mind on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him, and the man answers from inside the house, Do
not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed, I cannot get up to give it you. I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend what he wants.
She smiles – the letterbox is full
of sachets of chicken noodle soup.
Their supporter has been round, again.
You can read the whole article by clicking the link below