Friday, 14 December 2012

FOOD BANKS IN KENT AND MEDWAY

Kent Green Party notes the rapid, recent formation of a network of food banks in Kent and Medway. Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, comments:

"Who is carrying the burden of the recession in Kent and Medway? Kent's extensive network of food banks supplying free food to the poor now includes locations in Ashford, Canterbury, Chatham, Dartford, Deal, Folkestone, Gillingham, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Sheppey, Strood and Tunbridge Wells(1).

"Clearly such initiatives will not reach all those in financial difficulties, struggling with inflated energy bills and rising food bills. There are, after all, 13 million people living below the official poverty line in the UK as a whole. What type of Christmas will all of these people have, especially those who need to resort to food banks to get by?

"We can and we should praise those who have taken up the challenge of supporting those in the greatest need in Kent and Medway. But we should be unreserved in our condemnation of political parties that place their enthusiasm for austerity above the basic needs of an increasing number of ordinary people. There is an urgent need to raise the minimum wage and to ensure that those on pensions and benefits are protected from hunger, higher energy bills and rising housing costs. The Coalition Government has a wide range of tax options which it may use to achieve this, but is taking none of them - choosing to increase poverty instead(2)."

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
Notes:
1.      Details, subject to changes and additions: Ashford: http://ashford.foodbank.org.uk/ ; Canterbury food bank beginning to operate: info@canterburyfoodbank.org  or call 07718 108875. See also: http://www.canterburyvineyard.org/food-bank ; Dartford: http://www.stedmundsdartford.org.uk/ Details: On Tuesday's and Thursday's each week the food bank will provide food ... St Edmund's Church Living Well, St Edmund's Road, Temple Hill, Dartford, Kent; Deal: Deal Area Emergency Foodbank (DAEF),  set up a food bank for the needy on Monday at St Richard's Church in the Mill Hill area, November: http://dealarea.foodbank.org.uk/ ; Folkestone: https://sites.google.com/site/folkestonefoodbankproject/ ; Gravesham: http://www.gravesendchurchestogether.org/Groups/190293/Gravesend_Churches_Together/In_the_Community/Foodbank/Foodbank.aspx ; Maidstone: http://www.lighthouseuk.org/food-bank-at-the-lighthouse/ ; Medway Food Bank operates from premises in Chatham, Gillingham and Strood and relies upon donated food to serve its clientele. SEE: http://medway.foodbank.org.uk/ ; Sevenoaks: http://www.saintjohnthebaptist.org.uk/outreach/loaves-and-fishes-foodbank.html ; Sheppey: food bank assisting redundant Thamesteel workers; Tunbridge Wells, St Augustines Catholic Church runs a food bank.
2.      Suggested tax increase options: Air Passenger Duty; Cigarette and Alcohol taxation; new council tax bands at the top; ensuring increased taxation related to the use of tax havens prior to their complete closure on UK controlled territories; increasing the upper rate of income tax; using Land Value Taxation to tax use of land; ensuring that corporation tax loopholes are closed: UK support for a Financial Transaction Tax or Tobin Tax.

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