Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins

Who said it could never happen here? Children are starving on the streets of Britain as the Tory-led Coalition's hate policies bite ever-more-deeply into the poor [Image: Stoke Sentinel].

Who said it could never happen here? Children are starving on the streets of Britain as the Tory-led Coalition’s hate policies bite ever-more-deeply into the poor [Image: Stoke Sentinel].

British children are sifting through bins left outside houses in search of scraps of food because they are starving, it has been revealed.

But Tories and their supporters in rich London won’t have to look at them – because they are in Labour-held Stoke-on-Trent.

The Stoke Sentinel reported that “Youngsters have been searching through bins in the Hollings Street and Brocksford Street area of Fenton before eating any leftovers.”

It said, “Dozens of hungry families are referred to Fenton’s food bank for help every week.”

What’s really sad about this story is that some of the people interviewed seemed to think the problem was with the mess left behind by these children – youngsters who are, remember, so hungry that they are rooting through rubbish for stale leftovers.

One said: “It’s horrible to see… Some days on the school run we have had to actually cross over the road because there’s so much rubbish on the pavement because of this. Luckily I keep my bins to one side so we haven’t been too badly affected.”

Clearly she is full of the milk of human kindness. According to the newspaper, that person was just 26 years old. Perhaps she should consider growing up.

Police in the area said the matter had been reported to them. What did people think they were going to do – arrest starving children?

Fortunately, Sgt Jason Allport demonstrated that police have the right attitude: “The issue isn’t theft; it’s children going around not having enough clothing and food.

“That issue is really something for social services to look at.”

In fact, it is something for every single citizen of the United Kingdom to look at.

This is the sixth-richest economy in the entire world. It is a land of plenty. Yet people here are happy to allow their neighbours to starve – probably to the point of death.

Their only concern is that they shouldn’t have to see it.

If I was living in Stoke, I would be ashamed to share the streets with people who think like that.

If I had voted for the political parties that have inflicted this misery on our nation, I would be ashamed of what I had done.

But you can be sure that David Cameron isn’t ashamed.

He doesn’t see the suffering, and neither does George Osborne, the Chancellor who inaccurately claimed in his budget speech in March that “income inequality is at its lowest level for 28 years”.

In fact – as is patently obvious to anyone who sees those children scavenging on the streets of Fenton – income inequality is rocketing.

But then, what else can we expect from a man who cannot answer a simple maths question?

Any of those starving children could be a better chancellor than him.

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  1. Yosserian Hughes. July 3, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    In fairness Mike, I don’t think the resident was complainin’ lord fraud style (Steppin’ over the homeless on his way from the opera).

    My best guess is she’s been taken out of context regarding her bins being rifled – I could be wrong.

    But you know how mainstream journalism/media works……

    That said, it’s an effin’ disgrace all the same. Concerned residents (If they have the means to) – or even the newspaper itself – ought to take video footage of it & send it to all broadcasters….But you know how mainstream journalism/ media works

  2. amnesiaclinic July 3, 2014 at 11:09 am - Reply

    This is so tragic. Children are the worst affected by malnutrition as their brains and bodies are still developing. The emotional trauma will be there for good and it will affect their fertility.
    I did live in Stoke for many years and they went into the recession in a very bad way so I’m really not surprised. The previous labour mp was Mark Fisher who tried his best but wasn’t a blairite and eventually retired. There was a good elected mayor who did a lot but got hounded out. Will the BBC take this up? Don’t hold your breath! Schools for many years have provided breakfast clubs but they have been curtailed and this is the result of the governments policies and squeeze.
    If the government won’t do it time to get the local supermarkets to provide their surplus food to the schools or the council cafeterias run in other countries. There was a shop set up for the unemployed and homeless up north that I believe ran a cafe as well. There are lots of bits run here and there but they need coordinating. We carry on the fight at national level but local solutions that work to stop this suffering are needed as well.

    • wildswimmerpete July 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      “get the local supermarkets to provide their surplus food to the schools or the council cafeterias run in other countries”

      I don’t usually support the supermarkets but they DID give their only just out-of-date food to the destitute – for free. However the EU imposed a law that out-of-date food has to be rendered inedible by dyeing then spraying with bleach or other poisonous stuff. I HATE the so-called elf’n’safety culture that influences EU lawmakers to legislate in favour of the Corporate State, while hindering sensible Health and Safety measures. I remember the manager of an Iceland branch threatened with prosecution if he gave only just out-of-date food to the destitute rather than just skipping it. The EU law also insists that skips used for “condemned” food have to be locked in a secure, locked enclosure to prevent the starving accessing them.

      • mey151 July 3, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

        at a particular Greggs bakers i know i have seen the amount of food (sandwichs ,cakes ) that get binned every night, often several bin bags a time, multiply this by all the greggs and other chains and im sure you could daily feed an army even if not entirely healthily

  3. feimineach July 3, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply


  4. amnesiaclinic July 3, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    In Fenton……

  5. beastrabban July 3, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is truly outrageous. As Mike points out, it is deeply shaming and troubling that children are reducing to scavenging through rubbish bins for food in Britain, which has the sixth largest economy in the world. But the Tories, and their middle class supporters will not see it. They don’t want to, and are passing legislation to hide the visible victims of poverty, like the homeless, off the streets and into hostels. And then they have the barefaced audacity to claim that people are only going to food banks because they’re there, not because they’re starving.
    I also wonder in how many other British cities children are also doing this. I don’t believe for a single minute that Fenton is alone in the depths of its poverty or the abject desperation of its poor. It’s very likely going on elsewhere, but either hasn’t been noticed, or, in the case of local papers owned by the Heil group, is going unreported.

  6. Florence July 3, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Bottom line………children are starving because their families can’t afford food. If the children are going through bins, then one expects the parents to be even more hungry (and I don’t want trolls here with the usual garbage about Sky Tv, etc) and indoors, trying to cope with the shame and sheer enormity of their situation. The Rowntree report this week was highly illuminating on the poverty of people who have to claim benefits to “survive”, in that “survival” isn’t possible on the amount in benefits given.

    It’s a damning indictment of both the government policies, but also of the indifference of those not directly affected. If it wasn’t through blogs like this it seems that no-one would know. At least through these comments we can see that there are decent people who do care. The question arises, why are there no riots? I expect it will kick off, soon, but as with the last riots there will be a key event, which I suspect will be around the mass of evictions due soon, or perhaps at a job centre because of sanctions. What we do know is that the govt have told G4S to plan to have a massive increase in prisoner numbers later this year, and to draw up plans to cover this. Money for prisons, not for food – it’s a new low in the depth of the depravity of this government

  7. buddyhell July 3, 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Reblogged this on Guy Debord's Cat and commented:
    The Tories think poverty is a “left-wing” plot to discredit their “reforms”. When I began this blog over four years ago, I speculated that there would be a rise in homelessness and shanty towns would spring up. I read an article yesterday that actually used the words “shanty towns” in the headline. You could be forgiven for thinking this is Britain in 1814, but it’s 2014 and we have a Tory-led government that’s only obsessed with the ‘message’ but is also overly fond of nostalgia for the 19th century: the dawn of classical liberal economics and a time when everyone knew their place. In the 19th century poverty was rampant, so was disease and illiteracy. This is why I demand a cultural response as well as a political response to the crisis. Nostalgia underpins all Tory thinking. Denial of the facts is a symptom.

  8. jaynel62 July 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Rarely these days do I read anything that genuinely makes me feel sick; due to the increasing number of horror stories. The fact these young people are scavenging is awful in its own right, but…some of the comments left on the paper’s website are purely terrifying; it makes me wonder if there is any hope when so many people are electing to ignore/fail to recognise the extent of issues this report indicates?

    To Mike and all other Activists – Thank you, you’re keeping me going xx

  9. jaynel62 July 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on jaynelinney and commented:
    Rarely these days do I read anything that genuinely makes me feel sick; due to the increasing number of horror stories. The fact these young people are scavenging is awful in its own right, but…some of the comments left on the paper’s website are purely terrifying; it makes me wonder if there is any hope when so many people are electing to ignore/fail to recognise the extent of issues this report indicates?
    To Mike and all other Activists – Thank you, you’re keeping me going xx

  10. Thomas M July 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    The sooner this government goes, the better. I don’t fully trust Labour but it’s surely better then this one would be.

  11. untynewear July 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR.

  12. The bourgeoise have never cared about the poor.

    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Yet another novel-length response from you; I cut the rest without reading it.

      Can everybody make their comments as to-the-point as possible? People are more likely to ignore what you have to say if you can’t say it concisely!

  13. Rob Atkinson July 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything and commented:
    Starving children reduced to scavenging in bins – in 21st Century Britain, the n6th richest country in the world. For shame, Camoron. Roll on 2015, and let’s get you and your malign cronies OUT.

  14. stilloaks July 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Still Oaks and commented:
    So sad. Children searching for food in bins, yet the condems say all is well, the economic recovery is here and foodbanks are a lifestyle choice.

  15. foodbankhelper July 3, 2014 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Ann McGauran and commented:
    Jayne Linney and Mike Sivier at Vox Political have highlighted this ghastly development in Stoke on Trent. I differ from Mike, in that he doesn’t think starving children wouldn’t be rifling through bins in London. Yes, parts of London are indeed rich, but the wealth owned by the super rich isn’t cascading anywhere beyond a small number of inner London boroughs and to the south-west of the capital. It’s certainly not heading over to Labour-run Lewisham and Greenwich or towards the people arriving at the food banks here in increasing numbers. Food bank use is up 500% year on year in Lewisham and Greenwich. London Assembly member Len Duvall has called on London mayor Boris Johnson to pay a visit to a food bank here to see for himself… Sadly it’s only a matter of time before youngsters here begin sifting through the bins. Also, social services are under so much pressure here that they’re less likely to spot the most vulnerable children. That problem also affects many Conservative-run boroughs here in London too. My view is that the effects are the same here in outer London – whatever the political flavour of the council. Thanks to them both for flagging up this important story.

    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      My reference to “rich London” was more about the version of London that is seen by its richest inhabitants, who are shielded from the effects of their policies and behaviour because they stay away from the deprived areas (and are in fact trying to push poorer people out of the capital altogether by economic means). Perhaps I could have phrased it better.

  16. […] British children are sifting through bins left outside houses in search of scraps of food because they are starving, it has been revealed. But Tories and their supporters in rich London won't have …  […]

  17. Jeffrey Davies July 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    unclean unclean unclean this will be the next stage in the anialation of the poorest in society but you can bet one thing its nothing to do with rtu ids policys not one bit jeff3

  18. Gordon Powrie July 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I wish people would stop calling the people ‘running’ the country ‘Tories’. Tories such as Oastler, Shaftesbury and Disreali would call them what they are; good, old-fashioned couldn’t care less Whigs.

    • Mike Sivier July 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      You’re right; someone else made the same point here a while ago (or was it you?) – but the problem with that is, if you call them Whigs, most of the general public won’t have the slightest inkling of who you are discussing.

  19. samara4baghad July 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Samara4baghad's Blog.

  20. Jenna Newton July 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    why social services?so they can take children away whose parents maybe to unwell to work through no fault of their own.Is it that parents fault that the coalition have stopped their parents disability benefits so they have no income and the children are starving,so a mix of poverty and being disabled means that the disabled parent is punished by having their kids taken away.A certain coalition should have an Oscar for their nasty in-humane performances but this takes the bloody biscuit.

    • Jenna Newton July 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Also low paid workers,the unemployed and many other groups of vulnerable people do not deserve this stress.

  21. jaypot2012 July 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    It’s a disgrace and is sickening to think that people will let this happen and not care one jot!
    If I were a supermarket and wanted to give my just out of date food to the poor, then I would do it – who the hell do the EU think they are telling what we can and can’t do? It’s our children and our poor that are starving and having to rifle through bins for scraps of food and as far as I’m concerned, the large supermarkets all getting together and letting the people have the food would be wonderful and would also give a kick in the teeth to the EU, which is just as bad as our “government”!
    When you think that night after night there are all these “parties, fund raisers, openings of art galleries etc” all going on in the rich London, the amount of food that is wasted. It’s all that stupid rich stuff as well but to see how much is wasted and know that the money that was wasted as well, could be used for helping the hungry, yet they don’t care one jot – I feel sick.
    I honestly don’t know how much more I can take, but I really don’t know why the public have let it get so far – the “coalition” should have been forcibly removed years ago!

  22. jaypot2012 July 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    To think that in 2014 children are so hungry that they have to rifle through bins to find food, is sickening and yet people don’t know how big a problem this is…

  23. hilary772013 July 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    How SAD! that this is happening in our country, I am sorry I am too upset to comment further.

  24. Roger Mac July 4, 2014 at 5:41 am - Reply

    I believe that the recession is fictitious, fabricated by western governments because of the growth of China’s economy.

    Up until the recession, China was set to become the worlds strongest economic power. This is seen as a threat to the USA and it’s position in the world as number 1.

    As China’s wealth has been created by exports to the West, the way to affect it, would be to put a brake on the spending power of the people who were buying Chinese products. This would also affect other countries exports, but ultimately, keep the status quo regarding world power.

    The effects of the recession are having a devastating affect in China. The expansion that was taking place, has come to a halt.

    The problem is, we are all suffering to provide the outcome that the exclusive political club is scheming to obtain.

    Our government contradicts itself so many times. During the floods, money was no object. Overseas aid, we are the most generous givers and recently, passport office problems, money no object. It seems money is no object when trying to impress the public, but in short supply to provide essential services.

    Don’t be fooled, life has never been so expensive and yet, the taxes and duties collected are being magicked away into private companies overseas accounts.

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2014 at 8:38 am - Reply

      “We are all suffering to provide the outcome that the exclusive political club is scheming to obtain.”
      I think those words are true, whether you are right about China or not. It is certain that the Coalition government here in the UK is forcing suffering on the poor in order to push its own agenda forward.

    • Wilma Mcewan July 17, 2014 at 4:02 pm - Reply

      no matter what or why ,the fact remains people ARE starving,let them play their political games ,but ,never forget this situation, things MUST change

  25. Vic July 4, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    It is horrendous to think that people are living in such Dickensian conditions. Regarding children needing clothing as well as food, I asked the local food bank if they took clothing as well but they say they don’t have room. Instead of donating clothing to charity shops that then sell it on at, it seems to me, ever-inflating prices, we need some way of passing on good second-hand clothing for free to people who need it.

  26. Christinne Radu July 4, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Really? U mean obese…. And btw: if u cant afford kids, dont have them. Unless u want them to become obese or search in the garbage for food….

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

      This has to be one of the most ignorant comments I’ve seen in a while.

    • teresa July 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      You know the old saying what goes around comes around,hope you will always have plenty

  27. […] Read more: Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins […]

  28. Deen July 4, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply


    Go to and try out various scenarios.

    Give yourself an illness. Or try it with 16 hour a week min-wage job. With a kid, two kids, more. Make yourself a couple, make yourself single. Go on – see what you get with various options.

    Then come and say kids need to be scavenging in bins.

    Also remember that if you are not working, or a have a min-wage job two minutes down the road, you’ll save big on the ‘overheads of working’.

    We need to get fascist, round up the feckless, put them into fitness programs to lose that couch potato flab, and instruct them to look the hell after the kids they’ve casually squeezed out. This isn’t to be nasty… quite the opposite. We owe it to our people to give them pride, purpose and a sense of self-worth once more.

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      You haven’t thought this through.
      Punitive government policies mean people are often robbed of the benefits you discuss via sanctions and other disqualifications. That “couch potato flab” that you mention is often the product of having to buy cheap food that is bulked up with salt and fat but is all they can afford. Having a minimum wage job two minutes down the road is far too often beyond people because the economic situation means those nearby employers have closed down and the only opportunities are many miles away.
      You seem out of touch with the realities of life – but then, you did say you want to be a fascist.

  29. loopeyange July 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on loopeyange and commented:
    Worth a reblog – this is happening right NOW in the UK – and we have a Tory led coalition to blame – shameful and sad. No one should be going hungry. Tories still think foodbanks are a bad idea, or not needed?

  30. […] Read more: Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins […]

  31. […] Meanwhile unemployed and low-paid working citizens – who have no income apart from state benefits, due to the systematic destruction of the UK’s industrial base by neoliberal politicians who were intent on increasing insecurity among the lower classes – are being starved to death. […]

  32. Damo July 27, 2014 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Incredable isn’t it that in one of the worlds richest economy’s ,children are scavenging for food..this sceptic government is so detached from the world most people live in they have no concept of other peoples lives .as people have said it’s not just specific parts of the country it’s everywhere I live in london it’s be comeing Dickensian there is so much wealth here it’s unbelievable and such horrifieing poverty I mean it’s like that film the road ,like skid row in la,theses poor people not even liveing on the margins on this called..struggling and dying right there right before your eyes being eaten alive by this place we here have the monster of boris jhonson and he,s a real monster now he realy wants the poor out of london,he does this bumbling Bertie buffoon act but he,s as sharp as the knife he will stab everyone in the back with..a true monster,as are most tories there is a tide of gentrification sweeping across london and if you haven’t the money honey your out I have seen here men women children the elderly going through the bins outside tesco,s in action the first time I saw this I was realy shocked …now I hate to say I,m all to used to seeing this ..everyday.

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