GREEN MEP-CANDIDATE’S DAY-LONG FAST IN NORWICH
PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY HAVE
PLEDGED TO TAKE PART IN A FAST ON FRIDAY (APRIL 4TH) TO DRAW ATTENTION
TO HUNGER IN BRITAIN.
It’s organised by End Hunger Fast, a campaign
supported by the Trussell Trust, Church Action Poverty, the Quakers and
Green Party Euro-election candidate Rupert Read will
undertake a dawn-to-dusk fast. For much of that time he’ll sit at a café
table at Rainbow Wholefoods in Norwich city centre. But he won’t be
eating any of the delicious food. Instead he’ll be speaking to
passers-by about hunger as he drinks only water.
Dr Read is soon to
publish a report on the use of foodbanks in the east region. It will
* There are now 39 food banks in the East operated by the
Trussell Trust, plus a further 16 non-Trussell food banks.
* The growth of Food Banks is linked to welfare reform and to rising food
* In the East, there are 33,622 people who are affected by
the Bedroom Tax, and 1,759 by the Housing Benefit cap. Of the 690,410
families who receive child benefit and are therefore affected by its
capping, 104,000 have three or more children to support.
* Benefits sanctions have been issued in the East against 61,797 claimants between
October 2012 and September 2013 under the new regime, compared to just
under 19,080 for the region in the whole of 2008.
* The average cost of welfare reform to a household has been estimated at £1615 a year (£31 a week).
* Food prices have doubled in the past 10 years, according
to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). A survey by _Which?_
magazine in September found that 41% of people were experiencing
increased stress levels due to rising food prices. 29% of people were
struggling to buy enough food for themselves or their household. A
survey in 2012 by ‘Netmums’ found one in five mothers regularly skip
meals to provide food for their children.
* Shockingly, the number of
people in the East treated for malnutrition has risen from 209 in 2008
to 331 in 2012.
Rupert Read said:
“By joining the End Hunger Fast
campaign on Friday I’ll be calling on the government to make sure that
the welfare system actually does its job of providing a robust last line
of defence against hunger in this country, that work pays enough for
people to properly provide for their families and that food is marketed
in a way which allows people to afford a healthy diet.
which the government seems to have, that welfare recipients can mitigate
the reductions they’ve seen in benefits payments by finding work or
moving to a smaller home is true for only a very small proportion of
people. It is shameful that the consequence has been that more people in
this country are facing hunger.”
Details about the
fast campaign may be found here: http://endhungerfast.co.uk/