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MP visits local food bank

Toby with Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator for Chesterfield Foodbank

Toby with Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator for Chesterfield Foodbank

The food bank, run under the auspices of the Trussell trust, opened its doors 3 months ago, after changes to the welfare system and increasing pressures on family budgets, saw a growing number of people face the day with empty cupboards.   

Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator said ‘The safety net the Welfare State provided is crumbling which means that more and more people are slipping through.  The cost of living is going up while wages stay the same and this is having a huge impact.  Working families are choosing between food and warmth and this should not be a choice they have to make.  For those on benefits the new harsher sanction regime, which is punitive, harsh and at times vindictive sees people for weeks and even months with nothing at all, and for people with fragile social networks, this can mean real starvation’.

Yvonne, the Food Bank Centre co-ordinator said ‘this is not a hand out it is a hand up, to get people through a crisis.  It must be an awful feeling to know the cupboards are bare and you have young mouths to feed.  I hope people feel when they leave here that there is hope, and however dreadful their situation there are people across Chesterfield who care about them’.

Toby Perkins MP said ‘I am very impressed with the spirit of community in Chesterfield that means help is available to those in the most dire of circumstances.  But the Government cannot walk away from its responsibility, and I will be making the case that we as a society need to address the evils that cause such outright poverty. No one in this day and age should starve, and we are shamed as a society if we allow this to continue’.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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