Shoplifting has gone up in the UK by 7% and the stuff being lifted is food. The reason for this is the fact that according to experts, people are finding their finances squeezed.
On Radio Four earlier today a Mum said she went shoplifting for food because even though she has used Foodbanks, the stuff they gave her was not healthy and so she, from the desire to feed her kids healthy food, went shoplifting. Now she acknowledged that this was wrong - but felt she had no choice.
This news item brings a couple of issues to the fore:
More and more people are finding it hard to live and the potential for rises in interest rates some time soon will see mortgages and other rate-related rise and this will exacerbate the situation. More people will have less to pay out on food, especially as the real value of income decreases each year any,way. There is already a rise in loan sharks and the spectre of interest rate rises will only feed this.
So many of those who support Foodbanks appear to go for volume rather than quality (and I know I'm probably wrong in this) but I always encourage those who decide to donate to go for middle of the road rather than cheaper stuff - my thinking being that I'd rather see five pounds worth of quality, low salt, low sugar, low additive foodstuff (say six tins) than twelve tins of foodstuffs that will affect the health of the recipients. Our local Foodbank is happy to receive fresh vegetables (a good thing with Harvest drawing near once again) and this is a good thing.
There is an immense need for Christians:
To support (and if there isn't one, to establish) Credit Unions;
To work together with Foodbanks;
To engage with groups like Christians Against Poverty (CAP)
To speak up for the marginalised and those in poverty and other needs
Soapbox back in cupboard