COMMENT: Charity is admirable, but another Banbury foodbank shows something is wrong

The charitable generosity of the community in Banbury and beyond knows no bounds.

Thursday, 28th February 2019, 1:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th February 2019, 2:00 pm
(L-R) Basharat Hussain, mosque trustee, Yasmin Khaduji, foodbank volunteers, and Jane Tims and Pat Woolley from Banbury Citizens' Advice NNL-190226-132907009

The latest examples feature heavily this week, with another foodbank set up to feed those who cannot afford to buy their own food.

The Merton Street mosque’s foodbank is open on Saturdays, a day the other foodbanks in the town are not open, making it even more useful.

The mosque is constantly looking for new ways to help people, be it through the fridge which reduces supermarket waste while also providing a free-for-all of fresh produce, or a free hot meal or a homework club for GCSE students.

Talking of students, what a kind gesture from the pupils at Blessed George Napier Catholic School to collect so much for the other foodbanks ran by the Trussell Trust – I am sure it will go a long way.

But how in 2019 in one of the wealthiest countries in the world can we celebrate another foodbank without considering why it is even needed.

It is a damning indictment of our welfare system that such measures are necessary, and Banbury is nowhere near some of the worst-off places in the UK.

Mosque chairman Abu Hassan said Britain is more like a third-world country than first-world with the state of our welfare system, and it is hard to disagree with him.

The fact someone of any background in Banbury cannot afford food is a disgrace and something needs to change.