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Burntwood councillor’s ‘heart-breaking’ visit to local food bank

A Burntwood councillor has said the need for food banks is “a disgrace”.

Cllr Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Labour’s Sue Woodward was visiting the Cannock and District Food Bank to see first-hand the challenges volunteers and users of the facility are facing.

And the county councillor said the visit had a real impact on her.

“It is a disgrace that emergency food supplies like this are needed in this country in the 21st century,” she explained.

“Some of the stories we heard were just heart-breaking, but it is also heart-warming that so many local people donate so generously to help those in need.

“The main reasons for this emergency need comes from benefit changes and delays, homelessness and people fleeing domestic violence.

“Contrary to recent press reports, we were told that fraudulent claims for emergency food are minimal and are followed up immediately.”

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  1. Cynic

    6th May, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I agree we must help the genuine sick and needy.

    “Contrary to recent press reports, we were told that fraudulent claims for emergency food are minimal and are followed up immediately.”
    How many of these claims did YOU check – or are you just quoting from a common party sheet?
    Perhaps we could see the list of people (no names) with full details income/expenditure etc that YOU verified and hopefully you explained to them how they could reduce their outgoings.

  2. Susan Woodward

    7th May, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Yes, I checked and, no, I don’t do the “common party sheet” thing.

    Assistance is only given via vouchers, issued by eg social or mental health workers or CABs etc and of the nearly 5000 people they have helped since Nov 2012, they have only had approx. 8 cases which they deemed to be suspicious and immediately checked them out. I’m was able to see their records (but don’t have a copy). As a charity, however, they will also be obliged to submit annual returns to the Charity Commission so you will be able to see this via the website.

  3. Cynic

    7th May, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Did you ask if any on the list you checked had changed their ways after being given financial advice?
    Did you see any case where they were buying luxuries instead of food?
    There is no point just giving if the problem is not removed.
    I have not seen a reported case where the person asking for extra hand out was shown where they could save/cut back expenditure – perhaps you have seen such cases first hand – not just hear say.
    How many cases did you check in depth?

  4. Rob

    7th May, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I see the Cannock food bank is operated by the Trussell Trust, which opened its national network in 2004, around the time Gordon the genius had abolished boom and bust and bucked the economic cycle.
    A disgrace indeed.

  5. A Cynical Parody

    8th May, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Dont’ let them eat cake.