Demand For Food Aid Spikes In Britain

Chris Mould , the trust’s executive chairman, appealed to the government to launch an inquiry into the causes of hunger in the U.K. With winter approaching, the worst may be yet to come. “This is disturbing,” he said. “It’s not going away. It’s getting worse.” WORRIES AHEAD OF WINTER Mould said that increasing numbers of people in Britain are living on incomes that are insufficient to cover the rising costs of food, gas and electricity, fuel, and transport. Disposable incomes have fallen, when adjusted for inflation, since the global financial crisis erupted in 2007-2008. But the price of necessities has risen gas and electricity costs are up 30 percent in real terms since 2007. The trust says many people this winter will choose between “eating and heating.” “People at food banks have started giving back food items that need cooking because they can’t afford to turn on the electricity,” the trust said in a statement. The British Red Cross announced last week it would have 30,000 volunteers help in a massive food drive at the end of November. The Red Cross hasn’t been involved in food distribution on a wide scale in Britain since World War II. IMPACT OF AUSTERITY The stress on the poor has increased since Britain’s coalition government, elected in 2010, imposed tough spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the debt. The government has cut welfare payments, forced many low-income residents to pay local government tax for the first time, and imposed a new fee for public housing tenants with spare bedrooms.

Texas food banks bracing for big cuts to SNAP

San Antonio Food Bank

The IAASTD report, released in April 2008, concluded that current models of industrial agriculture cannot ensure future food security. While the report did not reject GMO, it clearly concluded that there is no basis for saying that future food security depends on GMO. The US, Canada and Australia were conspicuous among countries that refused to be signatories to the final report. However, the UK and France joined numerous developing nations in adopting the IAASTD report. This means that all claims about GMOfor or againstneed closer scrutiny. Anyone who suggests that science has settled the matter is not quite telling the truth. It is, however, concerns about economic democracy that drive much of the opposition to the agri-business tilt of WFP. Entities such as the US Food Sovereignty Alliance are essentially opposed to business models that are privatizing seeds and promoting chemical-dependent agriculture that becomes more and more capital intensive. In particular, they are opposed to patent regimes that ensure that more and more of the surplus generated benefits a handful of firms. These fears have grown following the US Supreme Court judgement, earlier this year, in the case of Monsanto vs Bowman. In a unanimous ruling, the court said that farmers cannot replant harvest from Monsantos patented genetically-altered soybeans without paying the company a fee. Though the legal implications of the ruling are said to be limited, it has nevertheless strengthened the case of those who oppose corporate control of agriculture.

Food security: feeding the future

Food Banks across Texas are bracing for the impact of nationwide 7 percent cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Email | Twitter | Google+ | Facebook It will not be a happy Thanksgiving holiday for millions of Texans. Texas food banks are scrambling now to try and inform families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that their food aid will soon be cut by an average of 7 percent. Congress voted in 2010 to cut funding. The reduction in SNAP benefits will begin on Nov. 1, creating what Texas Food Bank Network officials contend will be nationwide food insecurity. A family of four will lose about $36 per month on average in SNAP assistance, according to Texas Food Bank Network officials, who say the cuts will drain more than $400 million from anti-hunger efforts in the Lone Star State over the next year. Every dollar counts for a family facing hunger, says Texas Food Bank Network CEO Celia Cole . This unconscionable cut will add insult to injury when families suddenly find they are unable to buy a Thanksgiving turkey. The San Antonio Food Bank and other Texas food banks are now engaging in a variety of activities to try and prepare affected clients for the cuts. One of the chief concerns is that Texas food banks supplies will be further strained as a result of the reduction in SNAP benefits. More than half of the 4 million Texas SNAP participants are children, according to Texas Food Bank Network officials, who say Congress is considering slashing another $40 billion from SNAP through the farm bill. Congress has already resolved to make the holidays harder for struggling families, Cole says. We strongly urge them to vote against increased suffering in the coming weeks. W. Scott Bailey covers health care, tourism, sports business, economic development; he also plans and edits some special reports.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.