Make March 19 The ‘End UK Hunger’ Budget
This petition had 77,320 supporters
In December, over 140,000 of you signed my petition for Parliament to debate the stratospheric rise in Foodbanks. Within days, we got that debate. Yet over two months later, even more families are going hungry.
The good news is that more and more people from different walks of life are joining us in the fight to end UK hunger. Last week, as part of the End Hunger Fast campaign, 27 Anglican Bishops told David Cameron this can’t go on.
The Catholic Archbishop of Westminster spoke out about UK hunger and its link to welfare reform. Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury has offered his bishops his full support.
Now, I need your help again. There is less than a month to the 2014 Budget on March 19. The government has hinted at further deep cuts to the welfare state, and so far has offered no answers to the crisis of low wages and high food prices that are driving people to foodbanks.
Meanwhile, last week, a DEFRA report came out during parliamentary recess that showed how the vast growth of foodbanks is not driving demand, which welfare minister Lord Freud has claimed. In fact, the report says the opposite is actually true.
So, today, I’m launching a new petition calling for a different kind of Budget. One that repairs the safety net we may all need at some time in our lives. One that tackles high food prices and sets a living wage so that parents no longer have to work long hours and still can’t feed their children.
This and every budget should have a hunger test. Will it drive more families to foodbanks – or will it tackle the scandal of UK hunger?
Specifically, we demand that the Budget:
1. Bring in a Living Wage so that families can put food on their own tables.
2. Repair the safety net of the welfare state – end punitive sanctions, the Bedroom Tax and other welfare reforms that are driving people to foodbanks.
3. Tackle rising food and energy costs.
4. Make reference to the exponential rise in foodbanks and UK hunger. The first step is to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
I know what it is to feel hungry and to see your child go hungry. A blog I wrote 18 months ago, called Hunger Hurts went viral because it spoke for many thousands of people. Over half million people have received three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks since last Easter, having been referred by people like GPs, health visitors and schools.
Over one third of the food went to children.
As I write this, tens of thousands of kids in Britain are going hungry. Parents are looking at empty cupboards in despair, and wondering how to keep on skipping meals without their children noticing. Teenagers are turning up to school, weak and exhausted, and too hungry to learn. Today, things are different for me, but I’m hungry for change. If you are too, please sign my petition.
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