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Bromley Borough Food Bank sees huge demand as MPs debate importance of service
WITH Bromley's food bank seeing lots more people this Christmas, the issue of why the service is needed came up for debate in the House of Commons.
During the discussion on Wednesday (December 18) MPs debated the reasons why there has been a rise in the number of people using food banks across the country.
In 2013 the use of these facilities has been increasingly by working people, rather than homeless, which make up only four per cent of overall usage.
During the debate the shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, Maria Eagle, said 19 per cent of the people using food banks need the help due to changes in the welfare government’s reforms.
A fifth of all people using the food banks are in fact in work, according to Ms Eagle.
Bromley Borough Food Bank’s project manager Mary Beckingham said: “We get a lot more people at Christmas.
“People who can’t afford basic things, still deserve Christmas stuff.”
“A lot of people who come to the food bank would rather be able to buy the food themselves.
“There are lots of people who have lost their job and thought they’d be okay, but no jobs have come up for them.”
The parliamentary debate sparked lots of argument as jeers were heard when one MP was barely heard above the laughter from the house, when discussing the importance of the matter.
In addition, the secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, was seen smirking at the statistic that half a million people are now using food banks.
Lia Korn, the secretary of political group South London People’s Assembly, said: “I think it’s disgusting Iain Duncan Smith walked out during the debate, and that this issue is not being taken seriously.”
Mary Beckingham would like to see change.
She said: “We do this because there is a demand for it, if the day comes where we don’t need to have a food bank, we will close, and that would be great.”
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