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Food banks and current policy on welfare

by
14 March 2014

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From Revd Andrew Cunnington

Sir, - Here in Redhill we have a foodbank running out of the Parish Church, and the demand for our services is growing all the time.

Mindful of the pitfall described in Richard Bridge's article (Comment, 7 March), that we might end up masking "the structural violence that welfare reforms inflict", which, I guess, means just being a sticking plaster under which wounds fail to heal, we were pleased to welcome our MP, Crispin Blunt (Conservative) to see what we do at our foodbank. We invited representatives of some of the agencies to whom we supply vouchers for our service, and they turned up in force to share openly with our MP their concerns and experiences with the recent reforms.We also invited several of those who use our foodbank to share their stories.

Suddenly it seemed as if the church was facilitating a focus for opinion and a forum whereby frustrations could be shared in an honest and open way with those who take the decisions. We are now looking to see how we might strengthen such links and help draw people together, and thus speak with a single, clear voice.

ANDREW CUNNINGTON
St Matthew's Vicarage
27 Ridgeway Road
Redhill, Surrey RH1 6PQ

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