1.The newspaper is in support of the service users because the system has neglected and left them to survive on low or no income. Some of the food bank users who were interviewed revealed that they had issues with the benefits system after being sanctioned by social security officials (Milligan, 2014). Again, even though some notable government officials have denied the findings of the report, it is evident that a significant number of people using food banks have been forced to do so due to financial problems that have been catalyzed by the system’s flaws. Throughout the article, the newspaper is focused on disclosing the truth about food insecurity in the UK.
2a.Sarah Rae used to work but was medically retired, so she had to depend on benefits for her survival. However, they barely can help her make ends meet as the cost of living has risen ever since she was rendered jobless. Even though her daughter mostly supports her, she could have still gotten more assistance from her friends, family, and well-wishers were it not for her pride, which has made her suffer in silence (Milligan, 2014). Rae admits that it is humiliating to be in such a desperate position in life, whereby she cannot afford some of the necessities, such as foodstuff. She feels helpless without knowing how to recover from the financial crisis she is facing.
2b.Austerity refers to those actions taken by people who are living on a low income: meal cuts, parents going hungry to feed their children, and resorting to food banks as a last resort. People living below the poverty line depend on food banks because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. However, some individuals are too ashamed to seek the assistance of food banks and, therefore, they opt to cut the size of their meals for their budget to fit (Milligan, 2014). Just like the government cuts back on spending and increases tax rates during adverse economic conditions, people living below the poverty line need to compromise some of their basic needs.
2c.The Trussell Trust has blamed the government's welfare changes for influencing the rising number of food bank users in the UK. Thus, the government should look into the matter and determine the real cause of hunger. In addition, the Trussell Trust pointed out that the delay in benefits payment is also a contributing factor to the growing number of people using food banks (Milligan, 2014). At the same time, it also identified benefit sanctions as yet another primary cause for food insecurity in the UK (Milligan, 2014). The clergy, on the other hand, maintains that food insecurity should be made a moral issue to help families, which are suffering in silence due to shame.
3.The current social security system is failing because it has been unable to help people out of poverty and, instead, it has driven more into destitution (Cooper, Purcell, and Jackson, 2014). As a result, a majority of individuals living below the poverty line rely solely on food banks to feed themselves and their families. The food banks should not be viewed as alternatives to the failing system, but temporary solutions (Cooper, Purcell, and Jackson, 2014). Moreover, in the 21st century, a country ranked among the top ten richest in the world should not be experiencing food insecurity; thus, it a surprise that developed countries, such as the U.S. and Canada are also enduring it due to a failing social security system, low income, and unemployment. More specifically, all these factors are indicators of a flawed system that needs reforms.
4.The author of “What the welfare cuts mean for us: The feeling of dread never goes away” is right about the welfare reforms targeting people who genuinely need help. Most of the victims are not to blame for their financial woes, especially after the author has described the situation in the case studies. The persons used in them can be viewed as victims to a failing system that has no regard for the negative implications of the welfare reforms (Gentleman, 2013). The author has proven that the system is not fair to everyone especially the disabled, who are disadvantaged the most.
According to a 2005-6 statistics, there are many children in residential child care, and they are spread across the UK: Scotland (14,060), Northern Ireland (2,436), England (60,300), and Wales 4,784) (Social Care Institute for Excellence, n.d.). Even though the number of children under child care varies from country to country, approximately fifteen percent of those in the UK are under the residential child care program. Food insecurity and economic instability are directly proportional. Ideally, the hunger-stricken children suffer from poor nutrient consumption and inadequate nutrition. In the wealthy society in the UK, good food is discarded on a daily basis, while in the poor one; people go to sleep with empty stomachs. The community in the United Kingdom is, therefore, distinctively different. The government needs to chip in and identify these structural inequalities within the UK society. It should regulate household income to facilitate the availability of food for the poor.
Some key legislations and rights are dedicated to protecting the welfare of children living in a children’s home. The Children Act 1989 advocates for the prioritization of a child’s needs and also acknowledges the vital importance of taking care of them (Bradshaw, 2011). Moreover, the legislation addresses the expectations and requirements when taking care of children; thus, it ensures that all their basic needs are provided. The Children Act 2004 is a reinforcement to the 1989 Act, whereby a team of qualified professionals is appointed and expected to work collaboratively in promoting the welfare of children (Bradshaw, 2011). The legislation also protects them from physical harm by their guardians and also safeguards them from physical punishment by limiting the use of reasonable punishment as a defense for causing any bodily harm to a child.
• Children are too young to dream of a realistic future that they would want; it is impractical to let them decide their future.
• Children are young and innocent, which makes them vulnerable, they are not responsible enough to make decisions that affect their lives since they are not experienced to understand complex matters, such as taxes and government policies as well as welfare reforms.
• Children’s needs are important because they affect their well-being and overall life.
This module has brought to my attention critical global issues that are adversely affecting the developed nations. A significant number of people in developing countries might be surprised to discover that hundreds of thousands of individuals are living below the poverty line and most of them depend on food banks to sustain themselves. According to some of the sources cited in the previous tasks, the government seems not to take the food insecurity issue seriously. As a result, most people who deserve help end up being victims of the government’s budget cuts. The reforms have, therefore, not taken into account some of the implications of reducing or temporarily suspending benefits of people, who are already struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, I have noticed that most of the individuals who depend on food banks do not have high academic standards, which might also lead one to question the efficiency and affordability of the education system. As the cost of living escalates each year, most residents are being driven into desperation, and so they have to rely on food banks, which is quite embarrassing to some of the victims. In addition, the magnitude of food insecurity is yet to be determined since many families opt to suffer behind closed doors to avoid shame and social stigma that they may face from friends, relatives, or neighbors. Overall, the system is not doing enough to ensure that people get fair and equal treatment. Furthermore, some of the case studies provided by The Guardian are clear indications that the system is flawed and needs to employ effective reforms.
What I Have Learnt and How It Has Helped Me
I have learned that some of the government policies and reforms are not as effective as they should be, leaving many families to bow their heads in humiliation and accept donations. Understanding the severity of the situation has helped me realize how food banks are slowing down welfare reforms. The government might as well be reluctant to solve the food insecurity issue as food banks are seen as an alternative and not a temporary solution.
Before and After the Course
At the beginning of this course, I was aware of the food insecurity situation in the UK, but I was not informed on how far the situation has affected thousands of families. As compared to the beginning, I feel more informed and aware of some of the contemporary issues that are silently killing people in the society. More importantly, I have gained more insight regarding my future research on issues, such as food insecurity and poverty.
Bradshaw, J., 2011. The well-being of children in the UK. Bristol: Policy Press.
Butler, P., 2014. Government dismisses study linking use of food banks to benefit cuts. [Online] (updated 19 Nov. 2014) Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/19/cuts-benefit-changes-driving-up-use-food-banks-study> [Accessed: 29 December 2016].
Cooper, N., Purcell, S. & Jackson, R., 2014. Below the breadline: the relentless rise of food poverty in Britain. London: Church Action on Poverty.
Gentleman, A., 2013. What the welfare cuts mean for us: the feeling of dread never goes away. [Online] (updated 16 Dec. 2013) Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/16/welfare-cuts-government-coalition-benefits> [Accessed: 29 December 2016].
Milligan, B., 2014. Food banks see ’shocking’ rise in number of users. [Online] (updated 16 Apr. 2014) Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27032642 [Accessed: 29 December 2016].
Social Care Institute for Excellence, n.d. An introduction to residential child care. [Online] Available at: <http://www.scie.org.uk/assets/elearning/residentialchildcare/rcc01/resource/textonly/00113350_answer.html> [Accessed: 29 December 2016].
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