Food bank opens AT SCHOOL after famished children start stealing from lunchboxes

The food bank at North Denes Junior School in Norfolk.

Now even children are being forced into crime by repressive Conservative government policies.

Think it through: Schoolchildren are almost entirely dependent on their parents for nutrition and Conservative policies have pushed 14 million UK citizens below the poverty line.

This figure includes four million people who are in work.

We may conclude that this is because the Tories have deliberately pushed wages through the floor. Only last week, Tory ex-minister Dominic Raab was ridiculed after he claimed wages were rising at their fastest rate in eight years. They weren’t; and they’re still lower – in real terms – than in 2010 when Gordon Brown was prime minister.

Here’s the graph:

Fairy tale: Dominic Raab thinks it’s terrific that wages are lower now than when Labour was in office.

And the benefit nightmare the Tories euphemistically call “Universal Credit” only worsens matters. The Tories say there’s nothing wrong with it because, even though there is a five-week wait before people who are successful in claiming it receive the cash, they can apply for an advance of up to 100 per cent.

The problem is, they have to pay that advance back, meaning the amount they receive regularly drops below subsistence level – for months. It’s a poverty – and debt – trap.

And it leads to further social problems including poor health and rising crime; people who are starved of money often suffer from malnourishment, with all its attendant health problems, and may turn to crime, simply to feed themselves and their families. Their children may do the same.

The issue creates a huge problem for school authorities, of course.

Teachers are charged with pupils’ moral education, as much as parents and other figures of authority – and cannot, therefore, allow theft from lunchboxes to go unremarked, even if the thieves are starving. And obviously it must be heartbreaking to watch their pupils wasting away due to the policies of a selfish government of the rich and privileged.

So staff at North Denes Junior School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, set up their own food bank for hungry pupils whose parents are struggling. It is thought to be the first at a British school

Half the school’s 420 pupils get free meals (although this won’t happen during school holidays, meaning that Christmas would be a miserable affair for them if they don’t get this kind of help.

Head Debbie Whiting launched the facility after seeing pupils so famished they were stealing from other children’s packed lunches.

Read more about the school’s food bank here.

But remember that, while the help for starving children is welcome, it is not a solution to the problem.

This is a problem that can only be solved by providing the whole workforce with wages that make it unnecessary for them to have to claim benefits – and by reforming the benefit system to ensure that those who are out of work can look for employment without having to worry about starvation or the threat of eviction.

That will never happen under a Conservative government.

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16 thoughts on “Food bank opens AT SCHOOL after famished children start stealing from lunchboxes

  1. justin

    The description of this is wrong, should be tory boy misses real photo opportunity to laugh at everyone demise and donate some out of date food that they probably used there expenses for

  2. Jonno R

    Disgusting how we are being culled. We will only tolerate so much much before things turn nasty. French revolution began because of this but May’s attitude is. “let them eat s**t” they need to go NOW

  3. jeffrey davies

    Universal Credit” a big stick to beat the peasants with in or out of work all part of aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado

  4. groovmistress

    Actually, I don’t believe the answer is to drastically increase wages – which would have to be by a vast amount in order for workers to become self-sufficient. We are looking at this problem from the wrong end, as it were. Higher wages only result in people being able to cover more of their living costs, the biggest chunk of which are housing costs (likely rent). This enables the landlords to maintain their own income and profits and does little to actually put more money in the pocket of the worker. Basically, with housing costs as they are and the way housing benefit works at the moment, any extra money just goes to the landlord and allows high rent levels to be maintained – the employers may as well bypass the employee and just give it straight to them. There is also the by-product of this – employers struggling to pay the extra wages putting their own business, and employment of their workers in jeopardy. It’s all win-win for the landlords at the top whilst everyone else is no better, or even worse, off.
    No, what is needed is an almighty property price crash to re-adjust this spiralling situation. The only people to suffer would be the investors and I have no sympathy for them. Those owner-occupiers who bemoan the loss in value of their property, will still have the same roof over their head, and when they come to move the lower price will be reflected in what they then have to pay for their next home. It’s only those who are using property purely as a way to make money who would be the losers. And that has been the problem over the last 3 or 4 decades – housing came to be seen, first and foremost, as investment when it should be about everyone having somewhere to live. I don’t recall in the late 70s much use of the terms “the property ladder”, “buy-to-let”, “investment” etc among ordinary people. Now we’re all encouraged to see it as the holy grail.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s a very interesting comment! Would anybody else like to pass an (informed) opinion?

    2. Malcolm James

      Unfortunately an awful lot of ordinary people who felt forced to stretch themselves financially in order to buy a house will be left with negative equity. We can’t just shrug this off as collateral damage, since it could cause serious social unrest.

      1. groovmistress

        I appreciate what you’re saying, and can understand it would be most people’s initial reaction to this happening – as, indeed, I did point out. But it highlight’s my point. If all property values went down it wouldn’t make a difference to those already owning a home but would greatly help those struggling to get or rent a roof over their head. People would have to get used to not seeing rampant property price inflation as a get rich quick scheme, which has proved to be highly divisive amongst society. It also depends what you mean by social unrest. Are you saying that the disappointment of those who had hoped to theoretically become richer (remember, it’s only on “paper” it’s still the same house) is likely to cause demonstrations, say? And that this “unrest” is more important than the growing inequality, homelessness and despair of those who are suffering NOW and which already causes millions of protesters to take to the streets, to organise petitions, lobby their MPs etc.? There is social unrest now and government couldn’t give a toss! But you’re probably right, they’d be a lot more concerned if it meant the their property investing, capitalist supporters were disgruntled.

    3. andermog

      or maybe actually start to build much needed housing. have a greater stock of “council housing” and build more afordable home too. where i live everything is luxury apartments that are in excess of £300k – 1m

  5. Pat Sheehan

    Crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’ could well herald the ‘property crash’ waiting to happen! Everybody ready? Brace yourselves!

  6. Pat Sheehan

    There was a property crash around 2008 when the economy collapsed of course as one might expect but how many remember the property boom of the 1980’s and the appalling property value crash that followed on in the 1990’s. I recall that between 1990 and the year 2000 the property that I was purchasing at the time collapsed in value, brought about by astronomic interest rates in the region of 15% and my pile of bricks and mortar was in negative equity for the best part of ten years. In those ten years between 1990 and 2000 over HALF A MILLION HOMES were repossessed (507000) and the misery created can only be imagined. Can anyone remember who the ‘financial whizz-kids’ managing the economy back then might have been? Yes of course it was joe-tory and their financial incompetence cost them dearly in the subsequent general election of 1997. By way of contrast I can see now that in the last ten years property prices locally have risen by £100,000 in that same length period making an absolute fortune for certain types of individual and investor. The very same ‘financial whizz-kids’ managing the UK economy but in a totally different way for the very same vested interests that have absolutely no regard for the concept of ‘homes’ as simply places for people to live. How sad we have such short memories and must pay a terrible price for our shortcomings.

    1. groovmistress

      Yes indeed, Pat. I too suffered through the property crash of the early 1990s but unfortunately I lost the home I was buying, ended up having to sell (at a loss) and bring up my 2 children in rented accommodation ever since, never able to get a foot on the rung again and with apparently no right to a council house!
      Tinkering with wages at the bottom only causes more money to trickle up to the top. Even if the basic wage were to double it would still leave many single people and families unable to buy a home of their own – the ratio of average house prices to wages is now 12:1 in some parts of Britain! Home owner/occupancy is now at it’s lowest since the early 80s but raising wages to enable a few more people to pay these high prices is not sustainable. But it would, however, enable the landlords to maintain and increase their rents and the privatised utilities to maintain and increase their prices resulting in ever more profit to be syphoned off by those at the top. The trickle down theory of the capitalists is a lie, the money always rises to the top.
      The price of food and clothing is now lower, in real terms, than it ever was but because of the high costs of housing and utilities – which have to take priority for the poorest households – it is these basic necessities which they are unable to meet.
      The answer, long term, is not food banks to enable the status quo to be maintained.
      There needs to be a massive shift and the balance needs to be reset. If some are put into negative equity for a while, then I would say a magnanimous approach needs to be taken, as you yourself seem to have done.

  7. nmac064

    One day, I sincerely hope these evil Tories will be held to account – not just at the ballot box, but in the Courts.

  8. Pat Sheehan

    PS. I could, and maybe should have added, I lost my pile of bricks and mortar too after 12 years of struggling and half way through the repayment period: but it was due to ill-health and not repossession directly. I just about got out with the shirt on my back and have endured everything that the ‘vicious so-called welfare system’ has been able to launch at me in subsequent years. I was always a socialist at heart and not much of a capitalist but my long, painful experience nurtured in me a deep hatred of ‘new labour’, ‘conservatism’ and all this so-called ‘neoliberal ideology’.
    Yes we need a massive shift in thinking and perception from our fellow beings but it is all to clear to me now that this will not necessarily come about by seeing the worst of what can happen to others and hoping to learn by it: education is nothing compared with experience and government ministers prove this every day with everything they do.
    Many of my own family and close associates saw only too clearly what happened to me and were completely unmoved by any of it: some of them still vote tory now and volunteer at ‘food-banks’: what can you make of that!. Unless you are yourself the victim of suffering you can be totally impervious to all that exists around you and the door is wide open for atrocities on a massive scale as we see time and time again throughout history and even in our so-called enlightened land.
    So deep and so ingrained is the ‘survival of the fittest’ instinct within some of our fellow human beings we see it blanks out any sense of love or pity so is it any wonder then that time after time (to gasps of horrified surprise) we see the oppressed eventually and inevitably rise up to destroy the oppressors. Was there ever any other way!

    1. groovmistress

      Your experience has been very similar to mine Pat. It was ill health which also meant I couldn’t work and pay the mortgage. I came out of selling my home (at a loss) with enough to cover rent for the first couple of years and then have had to endure the “welfare” system ever since which is not to be confused with not working of course. Still am actually and fighting for we 1950s born women, abandoned with no pensions in our mid-sixties. I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly. Bring on the uprising of the oppressed!

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