I recently wrote a letter to the local press on the use of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank on Green Street, I invite you to have a read and urge you to get in touch if this is an issue you feel strongly about.
A question I am deeply saddened to ask but it would be remiss of me if I didn't is, do you need an invitation to visit a foodbank? Just under 3000 residents of Morecambe and Lunesdale visited Morecambe Bay Foodbank on Green Street in 2014, one of a handful in our district. None of them needed or desired an invitation. Instead many of them used the foodbank as a last resort to feed their families and themselves in times of desperation. Benefits delays, benefit sanctions, debt and low-pay are all cited as significant reasons that people in our district are relying on food handouts. Compare this to the local Tory MP, who has demanded a number of conditions be met before he can grace our local foodbank with his presence. These include a need to have an invitation and accompaniment by the CEO of Trussell Trust who support Morecambe Bay Foodbank. It is not enough for him that men, women and children in his constituency are so poor, so beaten by his government’s welfare cuts that they turn to complete strangers to support them. However the final nail in the coffin is his assertion he needs all these conditions to be met so he can make ‘a responsible visit’. If only residents had the luxury of such conditions. Foodbanks are not an emotive issue as this Tory government and its representatives claim. Rather they reflect the morality of our nation leadership, the 7th richest in the world. All one can take from these resolute dismissals of food poverty is an armour of dishonour and cowardice. Not attractive qualities for anyone, least of all very privileged public servants.’
Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale