Food Banks

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  • Yes am on one today LOL


    Have you ever had to use one? I have. Twice last year. The lady who ran the food bank told me its mostly short term help that people come for but there are a few who depend on them.


    My food parcel consisted of tins, dried goods and no perishable items, not all but some were extra value stuff.


    I am an old fashioned cook and I looked at the collection of foods and thought, how the hell do I make a meal out of this if mother hubbards cupboard was completely empty. Luckily I had some staples in the house like potatoes which meant I could do corned beef hash with beans.. or beans on toast, or tuna on toast.. but that was it.


    It got me thinking. Is society that in general so far away from cooking from scratch. I always have flour an eggs etc in, always a pack of pudding rice, milk butter so I can make rice pudding or cakes should I fancy something nice. Dont people know how to cook anymore. I know home education is not taught the same in schools anymore unless a chosen subject. I wonder if this should now become mandatory.


    Anyway I digress.. I often walk past the food bank box in tescos and have a sneak peek as I glide past at what people put in it. I see lots of extra value products and my heart always sinks.


    First off, if thats all they can afford to give, then its very welcomed am sure, but I wonder if sometimes its a case of, well they are hungry they will eat anything? My cat and dog both refused some tuna from an extra value tesco tin and I never touched it again.


    I dont mean to sound ungrateful in anyway, dont get me wrong. But I think sometimes when you have nothing, a decent, good quality meal can make you feel ready to take on the world again, but if your really down on your luck and your mood is dropping and your given a tin of extra value sketti bollocknasie which tastes nasty, its not.. is it..


    I only live in a small town and the local food bank does not have facilities for more fresher produce although the lady did say they are working on it and also on recipe cards.


    Kinda hope that times will change and the need for F'banks will change for the better, but I cant help think that we are mimicking Dickensian times with a 21st century twist :(

  • First of all show gratitude for the hand that fed you, what do you expect Mark's and Spencer's food.
    Stop moaning woman, put your energies into making your life the best it can be instead of always
    focusing on what is wrong in your life, don't you realise only YOU can make your life better only YOU.


    Personally I wouldn't use a food bank, I would feel like I had failed in my life.


    Please take this message as a friendly, loving kick up the arse, you are a creative unique woman, turn
    the negative into the positive and Shine Woman Shine to the World xx

  • We don't buy processed food at all. We are lucky enough to have good local market and keep a stock of staple stuff for bread etc. Even mastered making our own veg stock and gravy. Big cooking session once a month for stock and things. Don't spend any where near the average shopping bill I suspect.

  • We don't buy processed food at all. We are lucky enough to have good local market and keep a stock of staple stuff for bread etc. Even mastered making our own veg stock and gravy. Big cooking session once a month for stock and things. Don't spend any where near the average shopping bill I suspect.


    is there a specific forum for sharing such money saving, healthier cooking, baking & making habits ?

  • There are plenty of threads in the self sufficiency forum with tips on making do with less. There are probably recipes there as well, though they may also be in other sections.

  • Mrs Me said a website called 'One Green Planet' she thinks that is the name gas loads of great interesting stuff. Am happy to share recipes. Veg stock any veg you fancy, scraps included chopped small or food processor chopped. Herbs garlic big pan low to med heat with twenty percent of the veg weight in salt. When water evaporated spread on grease proof paper in oven around 100 degrees turn occasionally. When it is dry blitz in processor and put in clean jars and hey presto! Beats anything you can buy and cuts wasted veg scrap.

  • One word. Freegan. Between wot I get outta the bins an last reductions I dont spend more than a tenner a week. Thats feedin the dogs to. Rite now I hav a 5kg bag of bakers dry dog food 6 tins of pedigree chum an a bag for life of kitekat pouches. Mostly tho they get butchers waste from the halal butchers bins. I mite donate the cat food to the local animal home. U can giv it 2 dogs but not evry day as the hi protien puts stress in the kidneys.
    Cant eva see me usin food banks. I see icelands bins as me personal food bank!!
    Noffin rong wiv the value stiff. I buy it all the time. Baked beans are good. I put onion mushrooms garlic an chillies in em tho. Cant belive anybody wuld complain at gettin free food!!

  • one comment only - do not look a fucking gift horse in the mouth. Food Banks distribute what is donated and if it is value whatever so fucking what! They provide a valuable service and speaking as one who has very Little more than 2 pennies to rub together any thing that I put in the food bank trolley has to not cost me very much! Luckily I am very good at making meals from very little, have the allotment, dont eat meat and make lots of portions at once to save on fuel. Please, I do understand that maybe a nice meal would up the spirits a bit but c`mon................

  • I walked 10 miles once a week, to get one carrier bag of food stuff, during the miners strike 1984/5 if I had any nappies or other products I wouldn't use in my carrier bag, I would just take them out and give them back. There's always someone worse off than you. I've seen what does go into the hands of people asking for help at food banks. Man some of it is top quality branded items.

  • I'm probably one of those naff donator people, I put in own own label brands, because I cant afford to buy brands for even myself. I try to generally put things in that most people know how to cook too. No point putting in things like pudding rice, or broth pulses if most people lack the kitchen skills to put it to good use. Especially as the items I've donated means less for me from my shop. I've never used a food bank, so I'm not sure how the food is divided up, but I presume people donate more tins because its got a longer shelf life. You can get full 'meals' in a tin, as in curries, stewed steak etc. And donating a few of tins is going to stretch round a few more people than buying a pack of biscuits that only goes to one person, I suppose.

  • Most food banks ask 4 tins an packs as it keeps. I buy things u can cook quick or instant. Cos if u cant afford food u cant afford gas/leccy 2 cook wiv. So tea coffee hot choc an cuppa soup instant mash an quick cook pasta.

  • 3 days food at a time and your allowed to go 3 times= 9 days food, hardly a lot is it?
    what I dont get is why people when they are working don't put back a few extra tins each time they go shopping, then when they fall on hard times they have a back up supply, it used to be called "putting something back for a rainy day", but I suppose its always someone else's job these days!!

  • Good point. When we were working we always used to have at least two weeks food in the pantry, mostly tinned or packeted stuff, just in case. Build up over several weeks or months, just adding stuff that didn't get used in a week's groceries, mostly.
    Got the habit as a kid, when we lived in the country, and winters were harder than now, and you could get cut off by snow for a week or two at a time.

  • got the habit from my parents.
    many is the time I ran out of money but I never ran out of food.

  • I'm a pantry girl. Always have been. I always have cereal, rice. Pasta and tinned veg, enough to make basic but decent meals fir when I'm short. I buy value beans and tinned tomatoes and it's amazing what a bit of herbs and spices can do.
    I work in a place that gives out vouchers for food banks and in 12 years I've never known anything like it for people going hungry. I've often given my own lunch as I know I have stuff in once I'm home. I would say most people who are genuinely in need will be genuinely thankful of food bank stuff

  • I genuinely don't understand why more people have started using food banks. There will always be some who need to, but why more suddenly? I was poor as a kid. Dad was disabled and I can barely remember him having a job, not from want of trying. I remember him repairing my shoes. I remember the donated clothes and toys. I remember the ice on the inside of the windows from having no heating. Yet I do not remember going hungry.

  • I guess these days most things are or have been done for us.... cooking from scratch is so old fashioned now and with so many widely available jars and packets people have no idea how to .. they have not been taught. I am from a make do and mend era and I remember times that we were really poor but my mum always had a meal on the table (stewed sausages yuck lol) of some kind. Even when she was real skint and I asked what was for tea .. if she replied shite with sugar on it .. I knew it was chips egg and beans, with bread n butter if we were lucky..


    I used to always have staples in my cupboard, like rice, pudding rice, flour etc so at least if I wanted something nice I could make a sponge or something, but this new diet I have means no staples like that in my cupboard anymore. I just buy fresh every day or every couple days now and buy less so I dont waste any.. if there was a zombie apocalypse I wouldnt survive lol

  • I didn't know how to cook when I left home, my mum embraced the freezer to microwave style of cooking which is understandable as she grew up just after the war, food was still rationed, everything was cooked from scratch, shopping was done day to day, it's hard work and not terribly interesting for a lot of people so I can understand why people rushed to stock up their freezers with ready meals once that became possible.


    I taught myself over the years and now I tend to buy big packs of things like rice, cous cous, pasta and so on, usually pick up fruit and veg reduced or a few bits I need from the local grocer. I don't eat a lot of meat or fish as I'm not massively keen on either but if it's reduced I'll grab it sometimes. I can knock something up from not very much these days but if you're used to buying stuff ready made (as a lot of people are) then suddenly finding yourself with no grub and no money can seem very daunting.


    I do tend to stock up when I've got a bit of spare cash as it helps when things are a bit tight, plus I'll make stuff and freeze it if I've got extra of something but it has taken me a long time to learn how to cook well and be thrifty and I can understand why people get in a fix, especially if something awful has happened to put them in that situation, it's hard to find the head space to suddenly learn a new skill when you're stressing out about losing your job or something.


    Our local church offers food bank parcels to all single parents and the elderly in our area so they came knocking on my door offering me a box. Kind of them but I really didn't need it and I'd rather it went to someone who really didn't have the cash. A lot of people said I should have taken it but I think that's the problem with all of these sorts of schemes; you get people in genuine need who just need a hand to get over a bit of a hump and then you get people who take it just because it's there instead of pulling their belts in a bit. Personally I think food is really important so I'd prefer to go without telly, phone, internet and so on, whereas I know other people would go mad without the telly so I think we've all got different priorities.


    I've generally not found own brand stuff to taste much different to more expensive brands and in some cases it has less sugar and salt in it so it's better for you. I do find Tesco veg is often quite bland; how you can make a carrot taste nothing like a carrot I don't know but even our rabbits refused Tesco carrots so I do try and avoid their veggies :)


    Chained Thistle I laughed at your mum saying 'shite with sugar on it', lol, my mum used to say 'bugger all if you keep asking me'; she didn't like being pestered when she was cooking! :)

  • As kids in the 1950's we often had a slice of 'bread 'n' scrape' for breakfast, which tided us over till midday and the much-welcomed school dinner, which was generally proper food cooked from scratch, as there were few prepared foods then.
    Most working folk only saw meat at weekends, so any fat was usually kept in the tin it had been roasted in, hence the 'scrape', which meant scraping the roasting tin. This sort of breakfast often lasted to Wednesday or Thursday, although in really cold weather we had porridge, made with water but with a drop of milk poured over in the plate.
    Stuff like Kellogs Corn Flakes were just coming in, and we tried them occasionally, but my father condemned them as having no body to them, so we didn't see them very often.


    Interesting to see in the posts above how people taught themselves to cook, because when I was a kid cooking was taught in schools, and came under 'domestic science'. But only for the girls, and this put chaps like me at a disadvantage when we flew the roost and got a flat of our own. We blokes made some weird and wonderful dishes sometimes, with stuff like tinned peaches getting chucked into a meat and veg stew simply to bulk it out a bit.


    I hear about food banks from both sides; those who occasionally have to use them, and from the local vicar who helps run one. Those who use our local one sometimes complain they get asked about their 'spiritual health' as well, which they consider is a bit much, and the vicar complains that some of those who turn up do so in cars newer than his own, and use their smartphone while they wait in the queue.....

  • It does defeat the object a little bit doesn't it? , If you can afford a couple of grands worth of car and a smartphone then you should probably ask yourself what you are doing queuing up to use a food bank or rather where your money is being spent.


    I'm not saying I use food banks (I would if I had to.) But at the same time I don't waste money where it's not needed. My 'smart' phone was second hand, cost 40 quid and my 'new' car is over 15 years old and costs more to insure than it cost to buy. But that's just me.


    Interestingly we never had much when we were growing up , Mum was a single parent, money was tight, but we always had a meal on the table when we came back from school , and there were no food banks in those days.

  • People who use food banks need to be referred and it is a fairly struck criteria to get the voucher. A large proportion of people are actually working, but not making enough to live on, parents go hungry while the last of the food goes to the children. When you are working, car and phone are usually necessary, just because your car looks posh to a vicar, does not mean it is. The smartphone may well be provided by work so that they can keep you working after hours. I know people, personally in this situation. As for cooking, when you leave the house at six and don't get back until 7 or 8 at night, maybe you don't have energy or time. Especially if it's the only opportunity to see your kids. And you don't see that the guy with the posh looking car cannot afford electricity after all his outgoings. I hope that nobody here is in the situation that they need to use a food bank. I help out at a local one, and the people who use it nearly all have a huge sense of shame that they have to live in such a way. It's bad enough that they carry this extra burden without vicars judging them when they feel worthless already.

  • Yes, I do think our local vicar is a 'self-important, opinionated little man'. (As he is spoken of by the Chair of the local Residents Association!). Perhaps he feels that those who have to use his food bank should stand meekly in line, heads suitably bowed, and a prayer upon their lips as they take their parcel.

    Perhaps he thinks that if these people were of his own standard (!) this sort of thing would not happen to them.
    But it can happen to anybody, particularly those already in debt, who have lost their job. As said, a car is a necessity in some areas in order to be able to get to job interviews, and having some means of transport is almost as important to such people as having a roof over their heads.
    I know several people who have no landline and no computer, but rely on their smartphone to do the same things.


    I also know people on our estate who have to decide how long they dare have the heating on for in the winter. Some come back to a cold house, put the heating on for an expensive two hours till 8 pm, then go to bed when the place cools down by 10 pm. If they are not working in the daytime they walk around the big stores, go into the library, anywhere to keep warm, because they cannot afford to put their heating on, which uses the expensive token system. The coal/wood-fired systems of olden days have mostly long gone, when broken furniture could be wombled and burnt to eke out the coal or coke supply.
    Some of these people are also disabled, living on jsa, and use food banks when it all gets too much for them.


    Britain is a very unfair place these days, as a recent UN Report indicates:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n…equality-un-a7110066.html
    and same:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/po…nternational-human-rights


  • I sometimes donate to a food bank and don't tend to give the value products. But it can be difficult to know what to give as they don't take fresh produce. So end up donating mainly tins. Sorry about that, what do you think would be better?


    Sent from my SM-A300FU using Tapatalk

  • As kids in the 1950's we often had a slice of 'bread 'n' scrape' for breakfast, which tided us over till midday and the much-welcomed school dinner, which was generally proper food cooked from scratch, as there were few prepared foods then.
    Most working folk only saw meat at weekends, so any fat was usually kept in the tin it had been roasted in, hence the 'scrape', which meant scraping the roasting tin. This sort of breakfast often lasted to Wednesday or Thursday, although in really cold weather we had porridge, made with water but with a drop of milk poured over in the plate.
    Stuff like Kellogs Corn Flakes were just coming in, and we tried them occasionally, but my father condemned them as having no body to them, so we didn't see them very often.


    Interesting to see in the posts above how people taught themselves to cook, because when I was a kid cooking was taught in schools, and came under 'domestic science'. But only for the girls, and this put chaps like me at a disadvantage when we flew the roost and got a flat of our own. We blokes made some weird and wonderful dishes sometimes, with stuff like tinned peaches getting chucked into a meat and veg stew simply to bulk it out a bit.


    I hear about food banks from both sides; those who occasionally have to use them, and from the local vicar who helps run one. Those who use our local one sometimes complain they get asked about their 'spiritual health' as well, which they consider is a bit much, and the vicar complains that some of those who turn up do so in cars newer than his own, and use their smartphone while they wait in the queue.....


    We did domestic science at school (this was in the eighties) but the only thing we cooked, as I recall, was a Victoria Sponge and I seem to remember doing a cheese and onion pasty or something, it wasn't lots of lessons teaching you how to cook properly or giving you proper skills. A lot of it with me was just confidence; I do think there's been so much state intervention over the years that a lot of people lack the confidence to do things unless they've been told 'this is how it's done'. Now I can chuck any sorts of bits and pieces together; I'll use a recipe if I'm doing something a bit fancy and I'm rubbish at pastry but it's really been a case of (a) needing to improve my health and (b) not wanting to spend a fortune at the supermarket and wanting to be able to buy reduced bits and just chuck them into something for tea that night. Time and practise, I think, are key. My boy's pretty good and can do himself a couple of basic meals, not a full range yet but we'll get there with that.

  • It does defeat the object a little bit doesn't it? , If you can afford a couple of grands worth of car and a smartphone then you should probably ask yourself what you are doing queuing up to use a food bank or rather where your money is being spent.


    I'm not saying I use food banks (I would if I had to.) But at the same time I don't waste money where it's not needed. My 'smart' phone was second hand, cost 40 quid and my 'new' car is over 15 years old and costs more to insure than it cost to buy. But that's just me.


    Interestingly we never had much when we were growing up , Mum was a single parent, money was tight, but we always had a meal on the table when we came back from school , and there were no food banks in those days.


    I'm like that; I'm not a massive mobile phone user, handy for emergencies but it's not glued to my ear so I've got a really old (pre smart phone) type thing that does the job; very cheap contract and the same with the internet at home; old laptop, still works so we don't need another, my van's very old! But gets us where we need to go. I'd rather have food, heat and light than gadgets and if I've got a bit spare I'd rather go out somewhere and explore somewhere new than spend it on 'stuff'.