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Reform Magazine | August 21, 2017

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Niall Cooper: Beyond foodbanks

Niall Cooper: Beyond foodbanks

Why foodbanks won’t tackle the root causes of food poverty

What will it take to end poverty and hunger in the UK? This is the question posed by both the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in September, and a new ‘End Hunger’ campaign being launched by a coalition of national charities (including Church Action on Poverty) later this month.

As Nelson Mandela famously said at the launch of the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign in 2005: ‘Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.’

Or, as Julia Unwin from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: ‘The level of poverty in the UK is shameful. This should be a place where everyone can live a decent, secure life. Instead, 13 million people – half of whom are in a working family – are living without enough to meet their needs.’

So, what would it take to end hunger in the UK? While the churches have been fantastic at stepping up to the plate over the past few years in opening foodbanks, are they really the long-term solution? …

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This is an extract from the October 2016 edition of Reform.

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