Friday, 27 April 2012

London: Food Bank Capital of Europe

Media financial pundits and politicians describe the UK as suffering from a 'technical recession'.  But far from being purely technical, this is a real recession for ordinary people in London and the rest of the UK.
  By 'technical recession, the pundits and politicos mean the latest official figures for the first quarter of 2012 show the economy contracted for a second successive quarter -  the threshold for a 'technical recession'. They also say it's a 'double dip' recession - as this latest technical recession follows so soon after the recession that ended in 2009.
 Of course, there's another measure of recession - and it can be seen on the streets in the form of many working people - their families hit by unemployment and by rising housing, food and fuel costs - trudging into the hundreds of food banks now increasingly busy across London and the rest of the country. 
  And, finally, teachers in schools are dipping into their own salaries to buy meals for their pupils who arrive in the classroom tired, listless and hungry.
 Hungry children in London, the finance capital of the world? The city about to host the Olympics?  Sadly, it's true, and there's nothing technical about this growing reality.

Paul Coleman, London, April 2012