This is from Kate Belgrave’s blog
Yesterday, I was over in Oldham talking to Mike Kendrick from the South Chadderton foodbank. The South Chadderton foodbank is open on Mondays from 11am to 2pm.
He reckoned that about 50% of the people who came through the foodbank’s doors were there because they had been sanctioned by the jobcentre. A high proportion, I thought.
Needless to say, I have a big problem with government/DWP denials of any relationship between benefit sanctions and social security cuts, and foodbank use. One of the main reasons I find these denials hard to accept is that I keep meeting people outside jobcentres who say that jobcentre advisers tell them to go to foodbanks if a sanction/loan deduction/cut to money means they’re out of money.
So. There may not be a link between sanctions and so-called “welfare reforms” in the government’s mind, but there certainly is a link between all of these things in the minds of jobcentre advisers and people who sign on. There also seems to be a link in the minds of people who provide foodbank services.
More soon. Spending a lot of time talking with people in Oldham at the moment, so more updating next week.